Caciques Brandon Gell and Sarah Francisco A Day of Exploration – September 4th

Slowly I, along with fellow leaders, descended into the beautifully surreal waters. As the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide persisted, the need for air in this unfathomable world became increasingly more essential. Continuing our underwater exploration, we entered this submerged cave unaware of what we would find. Swimming deeper into the cave, a harsh reality emerged. This cave, which I initially had hoped to be my querencia, a place where I was free to think, had an abrupt and unexpected end. Following this unfortunate realization, yet another harsh awareness crept up on me as well as other leaders, we were out of oxygen. Quickly, I placed my hands behind my back and used my flippers to effectively propel myself to the surface. Gasping for air I reached out of the water to a place of comfort. This experience, which will resonate throughout my stay at the island school, has taught me an important lesson. Push your boundaries.

Brandon Gell

Editor's note: In the above post, Brandon is explaining his experience freediving, not SCUBA diving.  Freediving is the practice of breath-hold diving, which many of our students enjoy during their time at The Island School.  Freediving and SCUBA diving are both closely monitored by faculty for safety.  On this dive Brandon was supervised by Chris Maxey, an experienced freediver who enjoys coaching students on proper freedive techniques.

After the initial climb into the salty water of the current cut, our group of young leaders were carried away gently by the current that flows between two bridges. It was a relaxing ride, free of our masks and snorkels, we looked around at the mangrove trees surrounding the edge of the cut and looked down at the array of fish displayed below us. This ride was relaxing and freed us of our unhappy thoughts and directed our thoughts to the road ahead. Discussing kayak trips and scuba diving lessons we all felt the excitement pumping through our veins as we prepared for these exciting adventures.

Sarah Francisco