January 5


Steve is almost ready for the water, he’s hoping to capture some elusive algae for his identification collection.

Definitely today’s weather conditions were better than yesterday. It was a picture-perfect scene when you headed out to bay area. There was more sun, a little less wind, and the breath-taking view of the turquoise waters. You know what that means, another opportunity to go snorkeling.

Though, I doubt anyone went out for a morning snorkel. Most of us probably passed out last night. I know I definitely did. Nevertheless, I made the extra effort to get a good Jamaican breakfast.

For breakfast, had some fried dough which was yummy, and Akee fruit(sp) with fish. I remember last year’s group talking about it. It was a meal that looked like scrambled eggs but was actually fruit. It was fruit that is poisonous if you ate raw, so it had you had to cook it the proper way in order to be edible. I don’t know. I wasn’t too thrilled with though the fish was good with it. Prof. Warren thought it was fantastic though.

After breakfast, headed out to the water for another attempt to snorkel. In the beginning, I was a little nervous after yesterday’s "panic" attack and first attempt to snorkel; however, I wasn’t ready to give up. For crying out loud, I was in Jamaica and it should be an experience to take hold of. So with help from Emily and learning along side Jackie, we had success. I didn’t panic this time and I became really comfortable with snorkeling. Yay Success! We saw a lot of great things in the waters, especially where the Mangroves were. I saw a lot of urchins, puffer fish, sea anemones. We also caught some nifty critters. Not sure what they are yet but we should identify them really soon. I was so proud of myself. Oh my gosh! it was too amazing for words. Definitely an experience of a life time. Lunch time came and it was actually a pretty healthy meal… well, if you didn’t count the french fries; fruit and salad.

Another quick discussion with Brad and Joe and we were ready to gear up again and head out to snorkeling for the afternoon.This time we took out the underwater camera. It was a little difficult to take pictures with the turbidity and the wave action. Hopefully some photos came out nice.

Afterwards, some people in the class started to learn to scuba dive and/or finished their dives but Jackie and I went on the hunt for critters. We were determined to catch at least something. It wasn’t a lot of success at first but in the end we caught a lot of neat creatures: algae, "donkey dung" (haha), and a cute little puffer fish! Another great experience underwater. It was time to end the day of snorkeling and take a nice shower. Why is there no such thing as hot water here?? Oh well. Oh yea, I’ve got to get myself Hair Conditioner after these long snorkeling trips.

Freshened up, time for dinner. Another tasty Jamaican meal: rice, vegetables, tofu, goat and curry. So even, after a long day, we still had lecture?! But nothing really goes the way it is planned. There had been some difficulties in organization of rooms and supplies for lecture, so the class gathered outside near the bay area. It was a really nice night. The winds had died down and the water became calm.

Most of us were stargazing with help from Joe. It definitely was a good opportunity to break out a bonfire and make ‘smores… if we had those things… In the end, we sort of had an "unofficial" lecture. We all gathered in the wet labs and started to identify the species we have found.You would think Jamaica would be all paradise and relaxing. Nope, more work to come for us. A PowerPoint presentation, a Practical, and a final research project?!

Aside from future forecasting of work, the day itself was just great. I definitely learned a lot. Can’t wait to do more snorkeling and more hunting!

This is Hot Dog Helen signing off!

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