I arose at 5:30 AM, after having overslept my 4:30 Alarm. We were to be in our gear by 6:30 AM and ready to swim. I finish making minor edits to yesterday's post on my laptop, and meet at the rendezvous site a few minutes early. Others arrive, and we leave for the waters.
We arrive along the shoreline, most students eager to swim. I was feeling anxious, but confident. I am not accustomed to being in or around bodies of water, and therefore being in oceanic water was not of great comfort to me. We are given a brief introduction in how to approach the water and swim. I enter the water last, slow with my flippers. The water was choppy due to the wind.
I begin swimming fine, but the shock of the relatively cool water in comparison to my bed was enough for me to breath and move irregularly enough for me to be uncomfortable. It was in my best intentions to remain as calm as I was able, as I knew problems accumulate through thrashing.
I get passed the dock where we had arrived at yesterday, but I was beginning to have water enter my snorkel. I am uncertain if the water was due to waves splashing into the top of the mouthpiece or whether I was merely unable to properly clasp my mouth around the mouthpiece. I was beginning to flail.
Fortunately, my professors noticed struggling and assisted me. I was escorted back to shallower water to where I was able to stand safely if necessary, and I was better taught some techniques to swim. Despite the shallow water, there were many fishes that swam below and around us. We saw squid, stingrays, and various other colorful fishes. I was beginning to calm again, but I was still uncomfortable for the remaining hour of the swim.
We leave the water. I walk behind the group on the way back to our rooms to get ready for breakfast, listening to the other students speak about many of the animals they had seen in the deeper water. It was good to hear their excitement, it helped calm me, though I was angry at myself for not being a strong enough swimmer to join them. Nevertheless, at the time, I just wanted to shower and eat.
My shower helped calm me. I put on dry clothes and headed to breakfast. I was surprisingly cold this morning, so I put on a jacket. Breakfast was very good for me. I ate toast and cereal and several fruits. After recollecting my energy, I thought about ways I could improve upon my swimming. My professors assured me they would be there to help, and that the weather today was not the most ideal and I did well given the circumstances. I mentally prepared myself for the next swim, regaining my confidence and getting excited.
We have one hour of leisure after breakfast before we have our first official class meeting. I go to the class and sit. Other students arrive. I notice my professors having issues with the projector, and we waited for assistance to arrive on how to fix the projector. There was a faulty cable, but it was not something they could repair within our one hour lecture period, so we cancel that particular lecture for another time. I am uncertain when.
Our replacement assignment was to practice taking underwater transects of the corals. A transect seeks to calculate the densities of objects, materials, organisms, or a combination of the above to determine density ratios across parts of an ecosystem. Transects are randomly strewn across designated areas and require numerous samples for accurate results.
My second time in the water was a vast improvement to my morning swim. The water was calm and shallow for most sections I was located in. Each team consisted of two members, reflecting a buddy system for our time in the water to reduce the risk of incident.
Our equipment was awkward to hold, but not inconvenient to swim with. My partner and I swapped equipment frequently as we recorded our data. We worked slowly, but relatively thoroughly. We completed only one transect in the approximately one and-a-half hours we were in the water. The fasted group recorded three transects, which I find to be quite impressive. We leave for lunch at 12:30 PM.
I was not hungry during lunch, so I opted on two apples. My lunch was brief, and we were instructed to meet back at the laboratory at 1:30 PM. I showered and cleaned my clothing and left them to dry before meeting at our lab.
We learn to analyze the data the class took, and we make charts to illustrate our data. We are then required to write a report providing a brief summary of our methodologies, findings, and hypothesis with our partner. We spend approximately two hours working on this, though perhaps less. I was not viewing the time during this period.
At 4:30 PM, we are offered an optional swim. I decide to stay behind and rest, though my partner decided to swim. I head to the kitchen for no real purpose other than habitually walking as I think. I did, however, speak with the chef. He is a very kind gentleman to speak with and to listen to. Our conversations last until approximately 5:40 PM, to which he needs to finish the meals for supper at 6:30 PM. I browse the library until supper.
Supper was satisfying, with an excellent desert. I eat a small plate of vegetables with a portion of pork and gravy. Desert appeared to have been a chocolate-chip cookie-flavored muffin with a healthy dowsing of chocolate sauce.
I finish my report with my partner by 8 PM, and I begin to write today's blog. As I write, I sit next to my professor, and we speak about various topics.
New Holland Honeyeater
My name is Serafin Cardeli. I am Twenty years old and studying to become a Conservation & Restoration Ecologist. I wish to combine education, outreach, and legitimate scientific research to better environmental health and increase public awareness through applicable and relatable methodology. I attempt to specialize in all Canids.