“Don’t do it because it’s easy, do it because it’s difficult” As the sun rose yesterday morning, anxious kids climbed out of their beds and feared the morning ahead. What kids would be doing in twenty minutes time would be the longest morning exercise they have seen this summer. It consisted of a two- mile run to High Rock, a quarter mile swim to 4th Hole and a drenched mile and a half run back to the flagpole. This was a challenge even for the most athletic kids. Although everyone was exhausted from the course, people still cheered their classmates on with enthusiasm until everyone finished.

This group of students holds up deepwater Isopods (Bathynomus giganteus) during their afternoon research session.

The energy was high at breakfast, which set a positive tone for a full day of research. Seventeen kids were split up into three groups: Lemon Shark, Stingrays, and Deep Sea. The Lemon Shark group went out into the artificial mangrove and collected two tagged lemon sharks to study at CEI. In the afternoon they ran a swim tunnel test on the sharks to see how they respond to stress. The Stingray group spent the morning catching rays at the Saddle where we were able to catch five Yellow Stingrays. From there, we pumped saltwater into their stomachs to see the contents inside. They were able to find shrimp, worms, and crabs in the Stingrays stomach and digestive system. The Deep Sea group set out early to extract isopods from 1,500 meters. They extracted DNA to differentiate the species from one another. Yesterday was a prime example of all of the opportunities The Island School has to offer for their students. We have ten days left, let’s make the most of it and continue to push ourselves to the limit!

Your Caciques for the day,

Margot Painter and John Rauen