I tend to be sentimental, but I would not consider myself overly-fantastic or dreamy. I am a reasonable thinker, I think. So, I do not usually find myself using terms like “magical.” But, waist deep in an inland salt lake, surrounded by more seahorses than students, it was the single word that kept running through my mind. I first heard it described that way by our Marine Ecology teacher Peter Zdrojewski. He told students about a magical pond full of seahorses that they would encounter on their Down Island Trips. Having lived and traveled in a number of Caribbean countries, and having studied and engaged in a variety of regional ecosystems, Peter is familiar with local organisms and not one to overly-idealize experiences here. So, as we first stepped into the pond, to wash the Hatchet Bay Cave mud off of ourselves, and as we strapped our masks to our faces, in anticipation of underwater magic, we were admittedly a little disappointed when at first, we didn’t see anything. Silty bottom. Algae. “I was imagining a small pond and a lot of seahorses,” admitted James Boyce, adding that the apparent “pond to seahorse ratio was a little disappointing.” But, then we looked more closely, just as Peter had instructed. Taking careful steps to ensure we did not step on the algae patches, just as Peter had instructed. And then... the underwater enchantment began. The tiny curly seahorse bodies appeared, from the slimy green underwater clouds, just like magic. [slideshow]