19 Jan – Better Dolphins in the Waves (Sleeping through the Dolphins)

After my Pear
Tree dive site mishap on the 16th (I threw up waiting on the boat
for Brad to finish surveying sponge tiles) I am ashamed to admit I was
reluctant to dive again. I missed the dive yesterday and as a result missed the
dolphins, the sort of quintessential Jamaican experience for some. I instead
chose to sleep in and do some work for my project I had been putting off.
Yesterday for the most part was spent doing research projects in and around the
lagoon. I know some people went out over the reef crest where the waves break
before entering the lagoon and were pleased to see a sea turtle hanging around
out there.

It seems odd to
me that this trip will have to end at some point, as if now that I’ve been here
we’ll always be here. We all seemed to adjust so quickly that the previous
weeks of vacation seem as removed as any from years previous or high school.
Most of the projects people are doing have become stable enough to allow for
brief setup periods followed by waiting. My personal project has to do with
examining the relationship between Porcelain Crabs and Anemones, and now that
the bulk of the collecting anemones and crabs have been completed, it is only a
matter of setting up the specific numbers of each and observing the reactions.
Overall tensions seem low, people are friendly and everyone seems to be getting
along well. I sense a vibe from those with significant others back home that
they are getting lonely; however, I think that those without feel as though
they could spend months here and feel at home. I noticed that the phantom cell
phone vibration in my pocket has stopped and I am trying to take that as a sign
that I am now almost completely “unplugged” (not to sound too matrix-esque).
The lifestyle here is just so different form how I live at home, without any TV
or electronic distractions [Ed: except for each student spending lots of time on facebook…]  I find myself really able to just sit and relax. I
have looked at the stars every night they have been out since being here and
seen a multitude of shooting stars.

Today I finally
built up the courage to go scuba diving again and had my deepest dive yet. It was pretty exciting to see some of the bigger reef fish that are
absent from this area. And when we were not looking at the reef creatures we
amused ourselves. It was a nice dive and a good way to get over my slight
fear of puking again. Anyways the blog is due in fifteen minutes so….


– Max

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