Our day began with an early morning
breakfast of an Ackee dish, a National staple here in Jamaica made up of a
local fruit and saltfish. After everyone
had eaten we we're ready to begin our second lecture on algae and
identification of the different types that may be seen here at Discovery
Bay. Once our lecture period was over it
was time to get our first taste of snorkeling and diving on the coral
reef. Once Anthony, the resident dive
master, explained all of our guidlines
and safety regulations we we're ready to get wet and explore.
A few of the students better known
as DIT's (divers in training) went with Anthony to begin their training to
become certified PADI divers while the rest of us joined Dr. Peterson and Dr.
Warren for a mid morning snorkel. After
everyone was paired into a buddy system we all navigated around the
inner reef seeing many different organisms including sea cucumbers, sea urchins,
tropical fish, sea fans and polychaete worms.
After an hour, led by Dr. Peterson, a few adventurers decided to
continue the journey through the reef and onto the oceanside to see what else
we could find. After weaving through
shallow, underwater passage ways, the group made it to the ocean and here in
deeper waters many different types of coral could be seen along with some
larger fish. After an hour, Dr. Warren
also joined the group oceanside to get some snorkeling of his own. After a few hours in the water we decided to
make our way back too land to join the diving group and discuss what we had
After reaching shore and removing
and cleaning all of our gear it was time for lunch. The kitchen had prepared us a wonderful mix
of home cooked fried chicken strips and macaroni and cheese as well as fresh
salad and fruit. After we ate we all
headed down to the landing area to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking view of
Discovery Bay. After a little break it
was time for the DIT's to make an open water dive with Anthony so accompanied
by Dr. Warren and Dr. Peterson they made there way out in the boats to a
secluded diving area. Here they learned
different dive techniques and were joined by a boatloadt of students from another university who are also studying at DBML.
Back at the Marine Lab the other
students took another snorkeling trip but this time into the mangrove area to
the left of the research buildings. Here
we explored the variance in marine organisms in comparison to those on the
reef. Since mangroves can be a potential
nursery for all sorts of marine life we didn't have to go far to see all the
different fascinating levels of the mangrove community.
When all the excursions had ended
and we met up on land we got a chance to discuss what we saw in a lecture
period as well as get instructions on research
and our collection and identification projects. After an awesome dinner of silver snapper and
rice we made our way back to the computer lab for one more lecture on tropical
marine invertebrate taxonomy. Once our
lecture was completed the group met up together to play an intense game of
"Catch Phrase" on the outside patio.
Utterly exhausted we all finished the game and retired to our rooms to
rest up for day three and the many more days of excitement to come.