12 Jan 2019 – Conquering A Fear

As a person who grew up in the warm tropics of Ghana, swimming has always been challenge that I struggled to learn and perfect, but my experience in Jamaica has helped me overcome this obstacle. I was able to overcome my struggles with swimming by interacting and learning from all the supportive people that embarked on this with me. For the first time in my life, I was able to swim with a school of fish and snorkeled in the open sea tens of feet deep.

First time snorkeling with buddy Lucas. Photo taken by Lucas

My first experience to snorkeling has also taught me different life skills. There were multiple occasions that my fear of drowning discouraged me from jumping into the sea, but the support from my new friends encouraged and emboldened me to take my first paddle. As a result of my first paddle, I was able to experience unbelievable and beautiful sceneries of different colorful corals, sponges, anemones, fishes etc. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to pet and swim with an upsidedown jelly fish (Cassiopea frondosa).

First day snorkeling and finding an upside jelly fish (Cassiopea frondosa). The jelly fish has a symbiotic relationship with an alga called zoozanthellae. These algae undergo photosynthesis and supply the jelly fish with nutrients whereas the jelly fish provides habitat and protection for the zoozanthellae.

This entire experience wouldn’t have come into fruition if hadn’t believed in myself and had the support of friends and professors. I have enjoyed every moment at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab so far and I hope to stretch my snorkeling skills and acquire more knowledge on the different marine organism sustained the coral ecosystem.

Paul , Pie

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