What’s the next mystery you’re trying to solve?
One of the greatest mysteries that I would like to solve is the location of coastal prehistoric villages that were drowned after the end of the last ice age. During the ice age, sea levels were much lower—more than 61 meters (200 feet) lower, and many people lived on the coastline. We don’t know very much about what those people were like—if they built towns or how they lived. I am trying to find these ancient sites and unveil what their life looked like.
Goodman always checks her gear before she dives. Sometimes, repairs need to be made.
What are three qualities that an explorer in your field must have?
I think an explorer needs to be very curious, not easily discouraged, and open-minded. Curiosity is an obvious trait, but open-mindedness is also important. If you are not open-minded, you might not see interesting and new things that are right in front of you. You can get too focused on what you think you should find.
What are three things you never dive without?
I always, always have a camera—or two or three—with me. Cameras today are so small and convenient that you can have a couple on you in case one doesn’t work. I also wear a red bandana to keep my hair out of my mask and as a mini tribute to [oceanographer] Jacques Cousteau [who wore a red cap].
Goodman never dives without her red bandana. It reminds her of the red cap worn by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.
Goodman takes notes underwater with a special waterproof notepad.
The last thing that I bring with me is an underwater notebook for writing down depths, describing things, or sketching things that I observe. We call them “wetnotes.” They are made of a special paper that can get wet without falling apart.
What’s the hardest part about being an explorer?
Probably the hardest part of being an explorer is leaving home. I’m always happy to be out exploring, but it also means being away from family and loved ones. When I return from an adventure, it is fun to sit around with people and share stories and photographs and sometimes unusual gifts from exotic places.
Goodman prepares for another dive.