Today, a few of us did some free diving in our own backyard. We snorkeled and dove around the reef balls in the girls' dorm cut. It was amazing to see about ten different species without going too far out in the ocean. At one point one of our instructors dove down to reach the bottom and slowly showed us a stingray that was camouflaged in the sand. Once he got closer the stingray slowly moved away by flapping his arm in a very subtle motion. A type of animal that we saw that excited us the most was the lionfish. Its dark orange spots and stripes and oddly shaped body caught our eyes quickly. It was a lot of fun to see how many different species we can find very close to our campus. -Welbis
After a long day of skills, my SCUBA group ventured out into a hole nearby in search of a Hammer Head shark. Our free divers had spent the afternoon swimming circles with "Helen" (the shark) and it did not take much encouragement to get us in the water with her. I dove off the side of the boat in somewhat of a frenzy, secretly hoping that the shark would rush past my face. The shark, however, loomed farther along towards the instructors. I reached a point of visibility and squealed at the shadow. A couple minutes later the shark began to ascend towards the surface near to where I rested. I scrutinized every moment the shark made, consistently making muffled "woo" sounds underwater. The shark illuminated the water and the people in it. Everyone was energized at a simple 2 minute encounter with these previously "tv-only" animals. When we climbed back onto the boat, spirits of everyone had sky-rocketed, the boat bustling with smiles.
As cacique I decided to bring a bit of home to the day. Realizing that we had a new member of our community feeling disoriented, I decided to orient her with a Ropes Course Game: HoeDown. We turned the area around the flagpole into a "barnyard" and everyone brought their southern accents and competetive drive. Three groups spent around ten minutes with yeeeehaws, wooobacks, and downlittledoggies. I think this game time welcomed Gaby (#28) into the community with a splash of fun and with a drop crazy: which is what we do best here.