On our way; halfway there!

Here we are in the Nassau Airport awaiting our flight to San Salvador.  We’ve had a great couple of days so far—we have an awesome group of students and they’re very excited to get to the GRC!

On Monday we started at Wittenberg and got to know one another as we learned sampling techniques that we’ll use on the island.  We began with transects and quadrat sampling, and then talked about nearest neighbor analysis—all ways to look at distribution and abundance of animals.  Then we conducted some directed observations where we looked closely at organisms, what they were doing, and their interactions with other organisms and the environment—students who conduct behavior experiments will use these techniques. 

After dinner we had the weigh-in of the luggage.  Our BahamasAir flight has a 44-lb weight limit for checked bags and the students were worried about fitting three weeks of gear and sunscreen into that—but all worked out great after just a little shuffling around.

Yesterday we met at 4:00 am for the bus to the airport and caught our 6:57 flight to Miami. We navigate the Miami airport and made it to Nassau without incident, and after a short cab ride got to our overnight destination—the Orange Hill Beach Inn (aka Fawlty Towers Nassau).  Here we got to see the beautiful blue water for the first time and then spent some time learning to snorkel in the pool.  Afterwards, some folks even tried it out from the beach across the street—among the notable sightings were a giant sea star and a puffer fish.  Dinner was an awesome Bahamian meal of chicken, peas n’ rice, and mac n’ cheese, with pineapple upside down cake for dessert!  After dinner we did some team-building exercises and then most went to bed early to recover from the early morning. 

Can’t wait to make it the rest of the way to San Sal this afternoon! See y’all soon!

UPDATE:  Made it all the way to San Salvador with all luggage!  Had orientation and a quick trip to the beach, and our first lecture last night.   More to come from the students starting tonight!

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