January 16

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Photo caption: Just like in Long Island waters, flounder can be hard to spot. Luckily, the water here has been 81F degrees the entire time we’ve been here, except when you swim through a groundwater plume, then it’s a downright chilly 75 or so.

This morning I woke up around 7:30 just in time to have some breakfast before running some trials for Helen’s and my project. I stepped outside to a gray-tinted, overcast sky as a few welcoming droplets of rain landed on my head. By the time I reached the cafeteria the drops stopped and I walked in to see lil miss red stripe and the hard working Adam.

Rachel (red stripe) put it the best when she stated, "I usually prefer to sleep a little later then this, but having this delicious food to wake up to every morning is just so good." Everyone agreed and we continued to drink our coffee and fill up on warm French toast drizzled in maple syrup, the best bacon I’ve ever had, all accompanied with fresh pieces of pineapple and watermelon. Helen stopped in shortly after we began to eat to join us, and the rest began to shuffle in as the morning progressed.

Helen and I went to work on our fish and sound project in the wet lab and midway through our project SCUBA Steve came in to let us know about the group dive was going on at 10 am. When Helen and I finished the trial, I debated going out due to the choppy look across the blue ocean that seemed a shade darker then the previous days while covered in white caps that I haven’t seen since the first few miserable weather days we encountered upon our arrival. It cleared up since breakfast quite a bit and the sun was beginning to shine brightly so I gathered my snorkel gear and decided to take it easy and just snorkel along with other Ashley, Andrea, and Rachel. A large portion of us piled into the two boats and headed out to the site, Pear Tree, that was just east of dairy bull, I was really looking forward to seeing some of the large sponges that were sited in an earlier dive by Steve and Chris.

Out on the water the waves were still pretty high and we all held on tight while going over against the waves that were nearly breaking on our bow. I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure was looking forward to jumping in those waves. It’s not everyday that you get to play around in waves that size around here where there is no beach. However our dive master, Anthony, turned us around and took us back because the conditions were not adequate for activities such as SCUBA. I do think though that I speak for most by saying the boat ride alone was pretty fun.

Helen and I went to work once again on our project doing a trial right before lunch. Once we finished our experimental trials, we washed off and headed back to the cafeteria for some good eatin’. The ladies made us baked potatoes with cheese that when accented with some hot sauce were super delicious!! Of course there was also some salad and fruit for the side. Helen and I went back to work on our projects as did most everyone else, some of us catching some rays of afternoon sun in the process. That’s the great thing about taking class in Jamaica; you can sit outside in JANUARY doing your work!!

Later a few of us decided to break away from working and take a stroll along the shoreline to a sandy beach we came across a few days prior. There is nothing like finally finding a place that you really feel secluded, a place you can crunch your toes around in the sand while pondering thoughts of the day.

When we all returned it was just about time for dinner, but most of us squeezed in some last efforts with our projects before heading in. Dinner was by far the best meal of the day. We had a scrumptious hot and sour with pineapples, smoked chicken that we could smell a mile away, baked fish with peppers and onions, fried rice, a broccoli casserole with mushrooms, and some tomatoes and cucumbers. As if that wasn’t enough the ladies even made us this incredible cheese cake topped with strawberries. After dinner we all scattered to do some last minute fixes on our power point updates for our projects that were due at 8. By the time we were finished with all the presentations we were all pretty much shot, except from what I remember scuba Steve and Rachel who were going to make herself a fire on the jetty.

Andrea, Marcy, Sara, and I decided it was movie night and we started to watch Hot Fuzz for I’d say around twenty minutes. We all dozed in and out of sleep before just shutting it off and calling it a night. The days here seem so long and it’s as though you have nothing but time all the time. It’s a feeling that I find it almost impossible to describe in anyway other then sublime.

-Ashley A.

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