16 January


I was supposed to start my day twenty minutes earlier than the 7:20AM that it did start. Last night Joe picked me out to wake up before breakfast, find Anthony (which always proved to be impossible) to ask when the Rio Bueno dive was going to be this morning, then wake everyone and tell them. Apparently the logic was that since I have to wake up at 6:30AM for morning swim practice back at Stony Brook, I am “trained” for waking up early; psh yeah… ok haha. I wanted to take advantage this “sleeping in” until 7:30 that I’ve been getting as much as possible. Carrie generously offered to keep a look out for Anthony in the morning seeing as she and Allison had to be up at 6:00AM for their project and this way I got a little extra sleep. Have I mentioned Carrie is the best!

I rolled out of bed to discover French toast for breakfast. It’s my favorite breakfast here. I also was informed that the Rio Bueno dive was at 8:00AM so I quickly ate my fill at breakfast while listening to one of Brad’s… lets call them interesting… stories. Kristin and I headed down to the dock to get our gear ready. Once all eight divers (Joe, Brad, Amber, Alan, Carrie, Raphey, Kristin and I) and two snorkelers (Alison and Josh) were on the Scomber, Anthony whisked us away to the dive site, Rio Bueno, complete with a stop about halfway so that Joe could get pictured of this little fishing boat… he said something about it looking English or something… I thought it just looked like a canoe. [Ed: I said the boat (a panga) looked like a “New England fishing boat” because it had two poles sticking out amidship on each side that looked like the outriggers draggers and trawlers use to stay right-side-up in the water.]

Rio Bueno is my favorite dive site because of the drop off of the reef that goes down 100+ feet below the surface. We only go down 60 feet, but as Brad says, it’s hard to resist the deep calling your name. The best part of diving for me is looking out in all directions and seeing the reef disappear into a soft blue. Kristin likes diving so much because she loves being a part of everything under the water, not just looking at it on the Discover Channel. Today, while at 60 feet, Anthony and Amber started yelling and making a lot of noise. At first I thought it was because I had ventured down too deep, but when I checked my gage I was only at 55 feet. It turns out there was a huge stingray that passed by below us. I must admit I was a little upset at having missed it because I was busy taking pictures of everyone. It also turned out that Brad saw a turtle that he went chasing after! My jealousy rose a little. Allison and Josh said there wasn’t much to see snorkeling but they turned the trip into a game of breaking the air bubbles before they could reach the surface and EXPLODE!!!

Everyone met back on the boat where Amber and Brad treated us to some tunes via their voices along with “dance moves” from Brad. Anthony, then, brought us back to Discovery Bay. The boat trips can get pretty exciting once the wind has picked up and we go flying over waves. Plus, I feel like you have so much to look at. There are two great views, one of the mountains rising out of the ocean to form the island of Jamaica, and the second is of the sea where you can catch glimpses of flying fish if you’re lucky. Today they were coming right out from the waves of the boat.

The divers and snorkelers got back and had a very filling lunch of beef patties. Then, Kristin and I put together the data from the past weeks experiments while laying out in the sun with Carrie.
Tonight we had the treat of going off the compound for dinner at a great outdoor restaurant (and I do use that term loosely) called The Ultimate Jerk. I ordered the best grilled chicken I’ve had here with French fries which was amazing. The rice was also a big hit judging from everyone’s plates.
After dinner there was dancing and singing and tons of craziness. It was the best night of all. Complete with Brad and Joe dancing together [Ed: We were dancing beside each other, not together.] and Joe swing dancing with Anna. He could really hold his own. On the bus back to DBML there was serenading by Brad to Joe along with, what I guess you could call singing, and may be construed as screaming on the well known party bus! And of course, the party didn’t stop there. What would the greatest night of all be without night volleyball… with, you guessed it, more singing!
I hope we’re all ready for our final presentations tomorrow afternoon. Wish us luck!
~ Lisa


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