Splash! The water felt warm, as it does everyday, when we jumped off the boat at 6:30 this morning. A small group of us had chosen to embark on an early free dive trip to a site called Cathedral. We laughed and snorkeled in the calm water and some students even made it all the way to the fifty-foot bottom. Just above the ocean floor, we watched as our instructors swam with the fish through a forty-foot tunnel. This is the first of many more free dives that we hope to take in our time here. On the boat ride back, George, a researcher at Cape Eleuthera Institute, even taught those who wanted to learn how to drive the boat. Owen Finnegan helped guide us back into the school’s dock, all before 8:30 am. A student waves hello before she descends on a dive!

Walking back onto campus, the decks and our community circle seemed much quieter than usual. With this week’s commencement of the academic rotation, a third of our friends are on a four-day camping trip down the island of Eleuthera. We have missed them all so much, but they will be back tomorrow in time for dinner! In the meantime, we have been busy identifying fish, crustaceans and coral on the Marine Ecology dives. Not only have we learned how to put on all of our gear on a rocky boat, we have also taken a close look at how all parts of a coral reef work together and depend on one another. Those of us in the Food Systems group have been designing theoretical gardens around campus. In just a couple of days, these groups will rotate, and we will each take on a new topic of study.

As we approach the beginning of our third week here at the Island School, we are anxious to see all the new experiences that still await us. From searching for hours for the legendary Banyan Tree to our early morning runs, we are being challenged to stretch ourselves both physically and mentally. Tonight, we will check into our dorms exhausted but excited for the adventure that tomorrow holds.

 

Your Day Fourteen Caciques,

Allie and Cameron