Morning: We woke up at our now-usual time of 0700 to eat a delicious breakfast of French toast, sausage, and cereal in the dining hall. We were happy to spend our morning inside the lab, rather than out in the sun, to study some organisms for our first exam, which will take place tomorrow, May 29th. We went through the pictures that have been taken over the past few days during our snorkel excursions and identified the fish, coral, algae, and other sea creatures. After, we went over some details for the projects and presentations we’ll be doing over the course of the next two weeks, including a research project that is due near the end of the trip.
Afternoon: We were all extremely excited to find out that Monday is chicken sandwich day at the GRC. Some of us attempted to get a second sandwich but unfortunately, they ran out before we could. After lunch, we had a short break to get changed and apply our sunscreen before heading out for a site visit at the very south end of the island. I think everyone’s favorite part of the day was the 40-minute truck ride to Blackwood Bay—the breeze in the back of the truck bed felt amazing, especially since the temperature got up to 88 degrees Fahrenheit today. We spent most of the ride observing the inland lakes and mangroves, and attempting to identify birds with Dr. Phillips. Once we got to the site, we had to do some “bushwhacking,” as JW called it, to reach the bay. However, the slight hike was worth it after finding some really cool things in the intertidal zones of the bay. Some of our most exciting finds included a juvenile moray eel, two sea cucumbers, a lettuce sea slug, chitons, fireworms, and lots of different crabs. We took advantage of the beautiful landscape by taking a group picture, but at first we had a little trouble getting the camera to stand up by itself. Luckily, JW spotted a nearby snail and used that to prop the camera up for the picture. Thanks, Mother Nature. By 1600 we had to make ourselves leave in order to get back in time for dinner. We got back to the GRC by driving up the West side of the island, after driving down the East side to get to our site, making a full trip around the island in one day.
Evening: Dessert at dinner was a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate icing, a great reward after a long afternoon in the hot sun. After dinner we had some free time to hang out and get snacks before class, during which some of the students gave presentations on a couple of the sites we’ve already visited, including Bonefish Bay and Sand Dollar (yes, that’s a place). We finished up class time with a little bit of exam review in preparation for tomorrow. Overall, it was a pretty laid-back day on the very beautiful and unique island of San Salvador, a place we’re all starting to fall in love with.
Emily Buckley ’20, Lydia Berg ‘21
Great to see your report Lydia, and hope you, and all the students are having a wonderful time. Our ocean is an amazing place to "have an office". Now, come get certified.
I am enjoying the blogs from you and your mates...enjoy your time there. What an awesome classroom!