20 Jan – A Terrestrial Relief

Today was a good day to follow the
amazing day before it. Early in the morning we set out on pristine water
conditions to our dive site, Pear Tree. This was my 5th dive ever
and my first time doing a backward roll off the boat. It is a very disorienting
experience especially when your mask and snorkel slide off your head. Once in
the water however I knew what to do. The dive was not as impressive as the wall
in Rio Bueno but beautiful none the less. We saw the notorious lionfish, which
is becoming less of a thrill and more of a concern to those who realize its
invasiveness. Personally, I’m never too excited to see them anymore. Upon
returning to DBML we had a brief lunch and stuffed all of the students into a
van for our field trip to the botanical gardens at Cranbrooke.            

I found it somewhat of a relief
being in the tropical gardens with other things than marine life to fix my
attention. Peacocks and Peahens loitered near the entrance, the males
performing their courtship and the females not looking too interested. [Ed: Much like the female-male dynamics in the class.] We even
witnessed the national bird of Jamaica, the doctor bird, a type of hummingbird.
We hiked for about a mile and a half, all the while our very knowledgeable
guide was telling us of exotic plants and their uses to mankind. What I found
most interesting is that the African tulip tree can be used as a cure for pink
eye. At the end of our walk we came to the head of the river and all of us took
a nice refreshing dip in a jungle pool and turns jumping off the adjacent rocks
and vines. 

At night Margaret, Jason and I went
for a snorkel. This was the most worthwhile thing anyone who is passionate
about marine life can do. We saw two octopi, a squid, two stingrays, many
eels, many puffer fish and a few spiny lobsters.  On a whole, today was another exciting and
new experience in Jamaica.

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