Hello Y'all,The Island School is an incredible place. We are all enjoying every moment we experience together and we're really becoming a family.  It was our third full day in the Bahamas and the sunburns are kicking in, as well as the chafing. The bugs have attacked most of us... but that's the lesson of this whole trip: to face the challenges that are thrown at us and embrace the lessons we learn from them. Biggest lesson so far: DO NOT ITCH.

So today was our most physical day yet. We began the day with a rigorous run/swim. You may be asking what this is... We'll explain! First there's running around, then every one jumps into the ocean into a part of the bay called a cut. The swimming begins! We swam about 50 meters until we reached dry land, and began running again until the next cut. This continued for about 30 minutes constantly switching running to swimming, and so on. But it was fun! We all pushed through and challenged ourselves, encouraging each other along the way. At the end we all felt accomplished that we had finished the challenge together, as a team.

Our morning was spent studying the different fish species and identifying them through their specific features. To our surprise, there were fish we had never studied in the slide show. We still did a sufficient job! We then began working on our research. We all got into our groups and discussed our hypotheses and methodologies for research days ahead. After a delicious lunch of spaghetti, a Mexican dish and rice, we headed to a beautiful bay. Right off the white sandy beaches were areas of turtle grass, patch reefs and off in the distance was a barrier reef. This is where we will be doing our research for the remainder of this trip. We snorkeled for two hours straight. Our groups went their separate ways and looked at the different reefs pertaining to their research. This was the most beautiful place we had been to. There were turtles, parrotfish, triggerfish, damselfish, angelfish, and wrasses. (Look these up!!) The trail to the beach was 2ish miles from the road so we had to shuttle in a SUV. A few of us made it to the road and waited for the remainder of us to get back. After 30 minutes, they hadn't showed up and we began to wonder what had happened. Just as we were about to hike the trail to find them, they emerged from the deep bushy forest. The SUV had broken down and was holding on by a thread. They pushed the smoking car along the treacherous trail. So we shuttled all 20 of us in two buses into town to get ice cream! We all got a frozen treat called a 'cup', which was made from the Tamarin fruit. Then we came back to the campus and so far we've spent the night relaxing and discussing the methodology for our research that we will start on Saturday.

Today's quote: "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."- Albert Einstein We chose this quote because today we were faced with so many challenges, and instead of being negative about them, we stayed positive. We encouraged each other and powered through them. Tomorrows Caciques are Mary and Shyann. Both showed leadership qualities today. We did a full clean up of the dorm and both volunteered to help in any way possible. Shyann pushed through the run/swim, even though she got sick. Mary has been dying to mop all week, and finally got to! She is always asking if people have drank water and looking out for everyone.

We miss you guys a lot! :)

Love, Seal Team 12

Caciques- Marina and Sam