18 Jan PM – From DIT to Diver

As the days keep passing, I'm
slowly coming to a realization that my adventures in paradise are slowly coming
to an end. The pressure from completing my research project definitely does not
help my case. My group and I have moved onto Plan C with our experiment, which
basically is what we planned for Plan A (but I'd rather call it Plan C, so I
don't feel like I wasted time). I know other groups have had some difficulties
come up as well, but we all help each other out…whether it's searching for
Aplysia dactylomela (sea hares, for those less informed) in late evening hours,
or just an accompanying snorkeling buddy. It must be the Jamaican air that
fused us into a well-knit community.

As my day started off on Monday, I
had no idea what was in store. I remember stepping out onto my balcony
overlooking the shore to greet the morning air and reflect on the water about
my project. I remember thinking to myself that the waves were finally calm
enough for us to video tape underwater to start getting some results. When I
got to breakfast, I was informed that there was going to be a diving adventure
in Rio Bueno. "Great, I hope I can come!", I thought to myself, as a
D.I.T. (diver in training). When I finally saw and asked Anthony, our very
laid-back, friendly diving instructor, whether I can go, he just looked at me
and said, "OF COURSE!!". I, obviously, was elated.

On the boat, I managed to pick a
seat that was a guaranteed "Get soak to the bone" seat (there and
back!). While there, the snorkelers, divers and the 3 DITs split off. Us, DITs,
stayed with Anthony to practice some bouyancy pointers and ascending. After
that, we explored a coral reef wall. It was probably the most amazing thing I
could have ever imagined. I swam well around and it felt so official. I was a
mermaid. I had schools of fish swimming next to me and I touched all types of
sponges (that I knew were safe to touch through our lecture on sponges by lovely
TA Amber, obviously!).

– Margaret

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