“Above and Below Water” by Cacques Ellie Cutchin and Jack Kempner
With Peter leading the way, my Marine Ecology class cautiously entered a tunnel that lead from one side of the large patch reef, Cathedral Rock, to the other. I was amazed at all of the unique organisms that were tucked away within the cracks. There were red squirrelfish with their gaping eyes, delicate purple and yellow fairy basslets, and dark, living coral all around. I loved seeing how, around the outside of the tunnel, there were fish swimming freely everywhere, while the ones in the tunnel were tucked away in little pockets of the coral. The immense beauty of where I entered caused me to forget about the claustrophobic thoughts of the encompassing rock, and explore the new perspective. As I flipped over face-up, I was astonished to see the bubbles from my own air float up and form into silvery film, trapped above me on the rock. Exiting the tunnel, even though coral is an animal, I couldn’t help but to wonder about the plant-stone-animal characteristics of the coral. After this experience, my mind expanded just that much more, connecting everything we learned in the classroom to the color and magnificence of learning in the field.
During exploration time, my advisory (Ashley’s) and Lissa’s planned to go sailing with the Maxeys. After pulling out of the marina we hoisted the jib and main and set sail. “Jack, do you want to drive the boat?” asked Maxey. “Sure” I replied, I took the wheel and started steering the Moonshadow. The wind whipped through my hair as I steered the boat downwind, filling the sails. “Hey Jack, we will need to come about,” I nodded and prepared the boat by un-cleating the sails. “Prepare to come about!” I shouted, then I pointed the boat upwind, and came about. The boom swooshed to the other side, Adam pulled on the sail and cleated it off. The boat continued to cut through the blue-green water towards the horizon, as though nothing had happened.