Pushing off the sandy ground into the water for the first time, many different emotions raced through my mind. Having grown up in Tanzania, this is my first time in the ocean—and one of the most door-opening experiences I have had so far on my journey here at Island School. With the help of the faculty and the encouragement of all my new friends, I am feeling much more comfortable in the water. My goal is to join everyone else in the run-swims in two weeks, and, even now, I can begin to see that dream come true. Everyone else was able to complete their swimming test, and had their first real taste of what the run-swims will be like. We are all excited to see how far we come on this journey together as a team. Apart from the swim test, we had our first exploration time. Most of the students biked to the Saddle—a dredged section of the old marina—and got to snorkel around with their buddies for the first time. Looking out into the distance, several students pointed out a spotted eagle ray to each other. As the days continue, we hope to see many more fascinating organisms. There are so many other places to explore, like High Rock and Fourth Hole Beach, and we simply cannot wait to get out there and experience them for ourselves. Island School is already becoming a part of us.

-Emily and Loth