Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
This morning started on the move with warm oatmeal prepared by our chefs. We ferried over to West End, where students spent port time buying snacks, souvenirs, and eating at one of the waterside restaurants. When everyone was back on the boat, we prepared for a long day of bumpy sailing. We filled the sail and left for open water, making sure to sit outside so as to catch a breeze. While the Dolphins finished their coursework and tests, the Neptunes lounged around or played card games. As the late afternoon rolled around and the waves turned to ripples near shore, we dropped anchor. We then prepared our dive gear and got ready to dive the same site we dived on our very first dive at the beginning of the trip. The Dolphins spent the dive in their two student groups, doing the last of their field research. One group took a transect line down to count organisms along a stretch of the reef, while the other group took water samples in and around sea sponges. This was the last training dive of the trip for the Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Neptunes did a solo dive as a group, led by one of the students, exploring the area and finding a multitude of parrotfish, butterflyfish, damselfish, and corals. Following this, our student chefs prepared dinner: tacos, while the others took showers and analyzed data. Two students prepared their dive gear again as the sun dipped below the horizon. They would be making up a missed night dive. And here is where we are now. Students are currently cleaning the deck outside, doing their daily chores, and writing their research reports. Soon we will get out the hammocks and hunker down for the night, concluding the activities of day 17.