Today is our last full day on the island and I am BIG Sad. Me, Zach, Sean, Clark, Nora, Hailey and Kaite came on the early morning snorkel today. The visibility was pretty bad and we did not see a whole lot, but any time under the water adds time to your life. After breakfast Me, Zach and Sean went and practiced out power point presentation, we decided to dress up in Hawaiian shirts and wear our sun hats and sun glasses. It has been on and off raining, but there has been no lightning so that is good.
After lunch we went down to North Beach and we had our last snorkel as a class. Me and Sean were partners and we basically just messed around the whole time. We saw a Bobbit worm which was pretty freaking cool but we were getting tossed around in the current and wind so only a couple of people saw it. I feed Brian out of my hand multiple times today. Brian is this Egret who has lived on the island and will follow people around like a dog. It is the funniest thing I have seen, he actually heals better then my dogs do.
After rinsing off we went to dinner and Pat honestly makes me cry. This man comes running out to us and bangs on a big bowl with a metal spoon, scares the crap out of us and then he yells out, "Supper!" with the biggest smile on his face. This holy revered man made us steaks, potatoes, and salad. I am so happy he is on this island. We would all be starving if it wasn't for him. After dinner we have been playing many games and they are super fun.
The people who came to this trip I feel like we have grown pretty close with despite only knowing each other for a couple of weeks.
Zach is a pretty funny dude. He has been with me almost this entire trip and I am happy that he puts up with me. He also is a great person to know he listens and he always seems to be the voice of reason when me and Sean want to do something stupid. He is super witty and always has an "attitude" which I find hilarious. He is a great person and a very valuable friend.
Kenen is a great swimmer. He will be at the surface one second then you will see green flippers all the way at the bottom taking pictures, he is also a really good scuba diver buddy. I wish I got to know Kenen more on this trip but one thing that I really admire about Kenen is his work ethic. Every time I saw him he was always working.
Janna, I feel like has made the biggest decision to come on this trip. She is always trying her hardest, wether it is working in the lab or snorkeling she is working hard. I really admire her willingness to try, she has pushed herself past her limits and I think that is honorable.
Hailey, has been given lots of crap by me and Sean. We started calling her "Da Queen." She seems pretty cool. One thing I think that is awesome about her is that she is so young and she is already doing so much with her life. It's a great thing when someone sees an opportunity knocking and opens it, but she kicked down the door, it is awesome.
Katie seems like a really good friend. She is the type of friend who would defend your name from people talking behind your back. I don't think I have heard a negative thing come out of her mouth this entire trip. She is always having a good time and whenever you get a reaction out of her it is the best whether she is angry or laughing.
Clark, is a really great guy he is not judgmental which I think means a lot about someone. He is super kind and he fits in with everyone on the island. He is always trying to learn and loves listening and telling story's. Some of the things he does just cracks me up.
Cat is a bad ass. If I was in a dark alley I would want to be walking with her. She has a hard shell but she a softy deep down. She would probably be the one to fight a shark with her bare hands. Anyone who has to take a break from napping to hard, has to be a bad ass.
Sam was my partner for a lab once and he is freaking funny. He is so monotone and he has a dark sense of humor which I think is super great. He is a hard worker and anything he says is comedy gold. My favorite thing he said was when Clark asked if he wanted to get back in the water after the shark and hes like, "Are you kidding? Im gonna make love to that shark."
Nora is not afraid to talk. She starts up some great conversations just out of the blue. I am really sorry that she lost her phone to Poseidon, and if I could I would start a Gofundme account. One of the favorite things she has asked is, "Whats your favorite cheese?" She is a really great person.
Jeni, is super freaking cool. I love her style and her attitude towards life. Jeni is the type of person who would fight anyone at a bar just for looking at you. I really enjoy the talks that we had out on the jetty. I really like her personality and I am so grateful that she brought a card game, and I really hope that we keep playing board games in the future.
Sean and I are the odd ducks in the group. We both just came for the experience not for the science. Me and Sean have had some great times here on the island. From singing super loud in the shower, to making everyone super pissed off at us. He is a great friend and "He is my brudda."
Brynn is super nice person. We had some great times at the zoo, and we both have been picked on by birds. She is a great dive partner even though she will watch your gear sink to the bottom of the ocean. She is a great person and im looking forward to joining the scuba club and scuba with the gang.
Today started with a early morning snorkel. The visibility was not the best because of the wind and the rain we have been having, but any time in the ocean is a great time. It was a great time out in the boat channel. It was me, Sean, Zach, Clark, and Edd. We saw a massive school of emperors. We also saw two decent size Logger heads, a Green, and a Hawks bill that Edd almost sat on. We also saw three big groupers one of them swam right up to Sean.
After breakfast me, Sean, and Zach went and finished our paper and our slide show, in the library. I finally went and bought a hoodie and the wind started to stop. After lunch we worked on it a little more then just went down to the jetty and hung out. We then came back and took pictures with the class, and watched what was a sad excuse of a sunset. Then we came back back and played some card games and waited for a delicious dinner. Zach told a joke about working out with a Logger head turtle, and Hailey shot out whip cream out of her nose all over the table. I got extra desert and it was delightful. Now we are listening to music writing our blogs and gonna play some kind of card game.
Breakfast: Breakfast muffins, with beans and lintel, fresh fruit, and toast
Lunch: Pasta, garlic bread, salads
Dinner: Coconut chicken curry, rice, and salad
Desert: Chocolate peanut butter slice of pure happiness SMASH! It was the best desert I have ever had, and Pat may or may not have given me extra
Today was a inside day, not because of the weather but because of our final lab. We woke up and had a delightful breakfast. We working on getting our data for the lab. We had to sort through 12 sediment samples to find microscopic invertebrates living in the soil, and then record our data. We started right after breakfast and didn't end until thirty minutes before the sunset. We serenaded the queen at sunset with Celine Deon. There was no sunset because the clouds decided to ruin it for everyone. My eyes hurt from looking at a microscope all day, my patience is gone and I am tired but we got all of it done so that is really cool. We started working on our paper and are going to continue working on that until its done.
Tomorrow should be a better day though the wind is supposed to clear out and then the sun will come out. When the sun comes out the shoes come off and the beach towels come out. Looking forward to a warm day because I did not pack any warm clothes because this was supposed to be in the "tropics." But hey i'm on a island in the pacific, living my best life.
Breakfast: Omelettes, mushrooms and fruit with toast
Lunch: Quesadillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, and salad
Dinner: Pot roast with potato, and veggies
Desert: Mandarin and maple cake with caramel sauce
As I arose from my deep slumber induced by melatoin, I was excited to begin the day a new. Me Zach Brynn and Hailey, were going to go on the morning scuba dive on the north side of the island. I though breakfast was at 8:00 but evidently it was at 7:30. Luckily, Pat knows that his food is so delicious he needs to make it in mass amounts for thirteen starving college students so there was plenty left. After eating we quickly went over to the resort and got our gear sorted out and went to the jetty. We got on the boat and I quickly set up my BCD. I soon became the teacher for the four of us which I was more then happy to do. We went to Plate Edge, and the dive master deiced that the current was going to work in our favor. They made me have my snorkel on for the dive which I would not use scuba diving because I still can't figure out how to use it at the bottom of the ocean but I didn't want them to know that so I decided to just roll with it. As soon as I jump in I lost my snorkel, I didst even feel it pop off my head, and it was to late when I noticed it was not on my head to grab it, oh well. Me and Brynn went hand over hand down to the bottom equalizing as we went down. I absolutely love diving the sensation of being weightless is such a trip to me, it is a whole new world. We saw lots of fish and tons of stunning coral sights that I have never experienced before. We saw a Black tip that was hanging around us for a while but quickly swam off when I tried to get to close to him. The dive was great instead of just doing a safety stop in open water our dive instructor, Ulga, took us to a more shallow area so we could still see some things before going up. After my air got to about 50 bars it was my turn to go up. I got to the boat and had a massive headache, probably from not sleeping a whole lot last night. Come to find out when my snorkel pooped off Brynn saw it and was like, "hmmm.... should I grab it....." so yeah i'm gonna give her crap every chance I get.
As we got back to the research station I was going to go take a nap, until Edd and Trish asked us if any of us wanted to go on the afternoon dive in about two hours. Nobody wanted to go. Edd asked if I wanted to go for a second dive but my head was hurting and I didn't know if I should spend the money. Trish then said, "Lets put it this way we need one more person to come with us otherwise the boat will not go out. So I was like, "Well I guess ill take one for the team." Honestly I just needed an excuse to go again because I didn't want to leave my lab partners to do more work then me, but since the professors needed me to go scuba diving with them I just had to make the sacrifice. I then took off all my wet clothes and took a nap. I woke up for lunch then went back to try to get rid of my headache. When I woke up to get ready for the 2:30 dive I popped a five hour energy drink, and was ready to go. Me, Edd, Trish, and Kenen were the only ones who were scuba diving this trip, the only other people on the boat were going snorkeling on the other side of the boat. We went to Blue Pools this time and while we were heading there the dive master spotted a Manta Ray, I figured that this was just an excitement booster to try and spread the word to get more people to dive. We all jumped in and descended to the bottom. We quickly started seeing so many species. We two lobsters that were tucked away in their holes, they were the biggest crustaceans I have ever seen. We quickly spotted black and white tips, we saw about five of them. We kept going around the reef and saw a massive Green Sea turtle, that was resting in a shallow cave This dive was quickly turning into one of my favorites. We then came to this open area with a big bommie in the center and I saw a shadow circling around the area. This shadow was huge I thought that it maybe was a Tiger Shark. As we inched closer the shadow became more clear and it was way more majestic then a shark. It was a six meter Manta Ray. We all came up real slow to it and hovered right above the sea floor. We watched this thing for a while slowly swimming around the bommie while we just marveled at this massive elegant creature that seemed out of this world. It flew through the water without any effort, it was beautiful. Come to find out this is a Manta Ray cleaning station. I was super impressed by this dive and it has to be my favorite that I have done by far. Let's just say I was very happy that I had deiced to go on the second dive.
Me and Sean went out to the touch tanks to find that we were the only students who were going on the early morning snorkel. The wind was blowing pretty strong and the temperature had dropped. The visibility was not the best but we did not let that stop us from diving. As soon as we jumped off the jetty we saw a seven foot Guitar Shark. We saw four Spotted eagle rays swimming together, it was majestic to see these animals fly through the water. We also saw a Wobegon shark which was very weird looking. When we got out of the water it was freezing the wind made it so cold.
After the snorkel we had breakfast and went out to finish our last lab on coral health watch. To do this lab we had to dive down to some coral and record the type of the coral, the darkest and the lightest spots of the coral. We then would send theses to the Coral Watch association so they can monitor bleaching events. I jump in the water instantly and put my fins on. I was lab partners with Nora and we start swimming out towards the coral line. Out of the whole class only four people were out swimming. Me and Nora, and Zach and Hailey. Me and Nora were probably 70 meters away from the shore and I look back to see if Nora was behind me and I hear the whole class yelling. I look at Trish and she is throwing her arms in the air yelling, "Get the hell out of the water!! Tiger Shark!!" Zach and Hailey were already heading to the shore I turn around and tell Nora to follow. My adrenaline is pumping and all I can think about is we need to get to the shore fast and quiet. Me and Nora both were swimming fast and I started using my arms. The commotion on the beach got worse, so we just started pumping. Nora and I got close and I accidentally knocked her snorkel out of her mouth with my arm, I turned to make sure she was still with me and then we kept going. We got out of the water and everyone was shocked at what just happened. We then waited about five minutes and after not seeing it some of decided to get back in the water and try to finish the lab. Those who went out were quickly brought in as the visibility kept getting worse.
After lunch we went out and did another outer reef dive. We went to Coral Grotto, and went down to Blue Pools. This one was pretty relax Me Sean and Zach saw some squid. We also saw theses two huge puffer fish nested in their holes. The coral sites were really cool on this one and seeing how all the fish interacted with each other was quite fascinating. We then got out and headed over to Heron Bommie. While we were pulling up to the buoy a Eagle ray jumped way high out of the water. There were huge schools of damsel fish that I floated through and they were all eating around me, and then when I would move they would scurry out of the way. We then noticed that their was a boulder on the bottom that had a couple of Rammores on it. After further investigation we found out it was a massive Logger head turtle. The shell on this thin was huge, Edd said it was at least four feet long. Its head was massive, it seemed unphased as we all dived down to take a look at it. We then went and looked at the sunset which words could not describe. Today was a great day despite almost being attacked by a Tiger shark.
Pats cooking could bring world peace. It has given me faith that their is still purity in this world.
Today's alarm choice was Shakira's "Hips don't lie" and it for sure got everyone up and moving, to say the least. We went out to our morning dive and saw so many crazy things. Me and Sean went into the wrecked boat and messed with some fish and turtles. This area has so many turtles it is crazy. There were greens and Hawks bills in the bay. We saw a Spotted Eagle Ray that was 10 feet long, this thing was massive and at first we thought it was a Manta. The dive was amazing, as we were heading in we came face to face with a massive Logger head, that had to weigh close to 200 pounds. It just stared at us intensely and swam slowly towards us for a closer look then went out to the open ocean. We then got closer to the beach and found out it was full of Guitar Sharks. They are so cool to look at, they are a mix of ray and shark, they are definitely a sight to see.
I was already having a good day and then I had to go take my ID test which I was not super worried about. I actually got all of the identification right, both common and scientific names. It was already a good day and it just kept getting better. I was going to the beach when Zach asked if I wanted to go to the gift shop. After about an hour I ended up having a new shot glass and a shirt. We then had free time until our next outer reef dive. I was nominated meat head of the group today so I got to push the boat off the shore. The boat had sunk into the sand and I needed help so Clark jumped out and helped push. Me and Sean did not stop doing the Uganda Knuckles meme all day and we pissed lots of people off, sorry, not sorry. The outer reef dives were cool we went to Reef Canyons which had a bunch of canyons cut into it. It was the most beautiful snorkel I have ever done. We saw so many different critters, and got some amazing shots. We then went to the cliffs and I messed around with some turtles. I had one fish that saw me in the coral and came shooting out and just wanted to hang out on me. He first went into my armpit then my chest, and then he found his favorite spot my crotch. He hung out with us jumping from me to the people around me. He was super cool he actually let me pet him a couple of times. We saw some White tip sharks, and some massive groupers.
Coming back was nice I went to the boat dock with Jeni and then everyone came out to watch the sunset. We then played a game which Jeni brought called Coup it is super fun. It is the reason I am writing this blog at this hour and not further explaining everything, so blame Jeni, jk. We went to look at the stars and just laid on the dock it was super peaceful. Today has been one of my favorite days on the island.
Breakfast: pancakes cream beats? syrup
Dinner: pork chops apple sauce, potatoes mixed with veggies, and a crispy thing that I don't remember the name of but you could tell it was clogging artery's cause it tasted so good.
Today started early with "The Final Countdown" awaking us. We had to be ready for our lab that we had planned for the day. We had to do it at high tide and then at low tide. We had to record the amount of fish living in the area using Go-Pros. I got put in a group of the sick people try and isolate it, but we are spreading. Me, Zach, and Sam were in a group it was pretty cool experiment. We saw a pack of Guitar shark pups and a couple of Black Tip reef sharks.
We then went to the lab and worked on the write up. We had lunch and then we had to go back out and do the experiment in low tide which was a lot easier. We then had to finish our lab which took a while but it was not to bad. Edd and Trisha decied to go for a swim and asked if anyone wanted to come. I quickly went and got my fins on and went out to the touch tanks. We got in the water and immediately started seeing lots of lil beasties. We saw moray eels, Cinnamon clown fish, Anemone fish, we even found some Cone shells. We were very close to the coral and at times I thought my belly was going to scrape the top of it. The whole area was beautiful it is so amazing to see how the ocean is so intertwined with itself. So many different species living within each other. We started heading back and saw two turtles swimming together and I got some pretty good videos of them. I was behind Edd and Trisha because I was video tapping the turtles so I turned and started heading back. Not more then five seconds pass and this huge black spot starts heading towards me. It was a Spotted eagle ray, but it was so big I thought it was a Manta ray. It quickly adjusted its course and shot past me it was super cool seeing how they can just shoot themselves so elegantly through the water. I saw a huge hole in the concert wall where there were massive fish of all kinds hanging out. There was a huge Unicorn fish that was very impressive in the school.
When we were in the boat dock there was a Stingray cuddle puddle hanging out under the dock that we all went to have a look at. It was crazy there were so many rays of all kinds. My heart was pumping with adrenaline while we inched closer towards them. Hands down the best time I had all day was in the water.
I would write a lot more but I have to study for my ID test. Just so everyone knows Pats food was astounding today!!
I had my alarm set for 5:45 so me and my roommates could go on the early morning snorkel. Unfortunately the little switch on the all the outlets was turned off so my phone died before the alarm could go off. This not messed up all of our schedules, I had a really good song to play this morning that my roommates couldn't hear. Luckily their is always a new day. We had lots of down time today so I took that opportunity to go set up my hammock underneath the jetty right over the water. There was baby black tips swimming right next to me. I studied and passed out hard in my hammock, the gentle breeze of the ocean wind rocked me right to sleep. The only reason I woke up was because some Silver gulls were fighting in the distance.
After lecture and lunch we got "suited and booted" for our first outer reef snorkel dive. It was overcast and rainy but any opportunity to get into the water is always one you should take. It was super funny watching everyone climb into the boat. Everyone was flopping around and then it came my turn..... I thought it would be a lot harder to pull my self up and I went right over the edge of the boat and hit the deck of the boat pretty hard, I actually cut my knee getting in. After a quick boat ride we reached our destination. I was partnered with Jeni and it was really funny watching Clark exit the boat Navy Seal style, he almost took out the people sitting next to him. The snorkel was absolutely beautiful. We were in the water for about an hour and the current was blowing us all over the place. Under the water was spectacular. Their were so many different things to see everywhere. We even saw Black tips and White tips. We then got back into the boat and went to a different location. It was a lot choppier then the previous area, we were having white caps going over our heads. Not soon after I got in the water I started getting stung all over by jelly fish. It felt like a wasp sting. I just kept getting lit up by the little buggers, it was okay though because me and Jeni spotted a Black tip and got so excited we were yelling underwater. We were following it and then out of the blue a White tip swims over the top of it. Then me and Jeni both yell under water "Double Sharks!!" There was a bunch of coral that was so intricate that it looked like nerve endings. There was a bunch of cleaning stations where different species of Wrasse would clean big fish. It was so cool watching these guys go in one gill of a larger fish and right out the other one. It is so crazy to learn about how these species benefit each other and the relationship that they have with one another.
It had been raining all day and we just worked on some school work the rest of the day. We all seem to be pretty tired but we are all having a great time. I would write more but I'm in low power mode and need to get back to my charger.
Today's offerings from the Angel Pat
Breakfast: A fine assortment of breakfast burritos that broke so many barriers, combining scrumptious mushrooms, the greenest of green spinach, and eggs right out of the hen with homemade breakfast beans that would put Bush out of business.
Lunch: Chick pea and lentil burrito, but the tortilla was a crispy pita like bread that puts tortillas to shame. I will never look at a tortilla the same way again.
Dinner: Pat made the best pasta bake I have ever had. This pasta bake would make the Leaning tower of Pisa stand striaght.
Desert: A thin slice of chocolate cake with Mousse then covered in coconuts. If this desert went head to head with the Girl Scout cookie's Samoa's, Pats coconut cake would knock it out just like Mayweather knocked out Mcgregor.
Today we woke up to pretty bad conditions. It was super windy and the temperature had dropped. We headed to out early mourning snorkel as we were walking we could see white caps out in the water. We entered the boat harbor and we were just getting tossed around the harbor. The conditions were bad, visibility was about four feet, and we were getting blown around by the wind. We quickly called the snorkel a bust. As we headed in I was startled by something hard hitting my chest. It was a Green sea turtle that had about the same visibility as we did. It scared the crap out of me and I'm sure I scared the crap out of him. We got dressed in regular clothes and went to have breakfast.
After breakfast we went to lecture and learned about some of the invertebrates that lived in the coral and surrounding areas. Because of the weather our schedule today was pretty messed up. We did our invertebrate lab today and went to take soil core samples. This was supposed to be a pretty hard lab but me and my partner, Nora, got our samples really fast and returned to start working on the lab. The longest part of the lab was waiting for everyone to finish counting the organisms in their samples. We took a lunch break and are still waiting on the final people to finish up their labs, but hey at least the other class left the island today so that's a plus.
While the other students were finishing the lab Me Edd, Sam, and Zach went to go test our luck out on the reef again. The conditions were still very windy but we decided to give it a go. There were a couple Cow head sting rays sitting right off shore, also their were some Black tip pups. We went over to the part of the reef that had been destroyed by a cyclone that came through about a year ago. It was really intriguing to see how the dead coral became a base layer of the new coral that was growing. It was very compelling to see how the ocean is a master of fixing itself. We were following the concrete wall that marks the boundary of the boat dock. We saw lots of sea turtles, and many mean looking groupers. All of a sudden we were face to face with a five foot Black tip! It was so cool watching him check us out and slowly swim into the abyss, it was a truly humbling experience. We started to head into the bay to get out of the water as we got to the beach Trisha yelled at us that their was tons of rays hanging in the sand. Me and Zach had a pretty close call with a big ray. We didn't want to take the chance on the beach so we decided to exit the harbor from the jetty. We then headed to dinner where the all supreme Chef Pat blessed us once again.
The blessing that our Savior Pat bestowed upon us today was:
Breakfast: Eggs that gifted the pallet with its touch and cheese that even the snobbiest Frenchman couldn't turn down, fruit that was caught in a blanket made of clouds as it fell from the trees and was instantly served, finished of with a coconut and bananas muffin and let me tell you this is the first time I preferred coconut as a dish rather then a article of clothing.
Lunch: A pulled pork sandwich that made Kahlua taste like a Mc'rib this sandwich was so good you would see Pumba going back for seconds, then we follow that up with salad straight from the hills of romaine, and some delectable quinoa.
Dinner: We walk into the kitchen to find a bowl of braised beef. This beef actually came from a calf that Pat raised from birth, you could definitely tell that he nurtured this calf with love and affection. On top of this bowl was a delicious piece of crisp that made the mouth water and hungry for more. There was then veggies that were gifted to Pat from the Jolly Green Giant himself. To top it off mashed potatoes that were cooked with great care, these potatoes were so good even Mr. Potato Head would feast on them.
Desert: We are talking about mousse that could cure the worst of depression. Topped with the orange from the Minute Maid commercials, and berries that made even the sweetest of candy seem bland.
Pat has brought me so much happiness through food but with great happiness causes great pain.