12 Jan 2019 – Senor Barracuda and El Rio Bueno

When I first applied for this study abroad, I did not expect to swim in water meters deep accompanied by great foot-long barracuda. I have done both! Yesterday morning, I began with a power run. I woke up at 6:43 am, meanwhile I’d agreed to be at the dock by 6:30 am. Oops! Imagine this, running by the dock to get my gear while I zip up my wetsuit I hastily put on while running down the stairs. Nothing beats the feeling of having a whole class cheer you on while the sun begins to rise. After getting my gear, and having a wet suit plastered onto my body, I boarded a boat and was taken some meters west to Rio Bueno. Rio Bueno is this small seaside village which overlooks a diverse coral reef. Here, I got to see beautiful tropical fish: such as fairy basslets, blue tang, and the infamous lion fish. Fun fact: Lionfish tastes amazing! (Thanks Joe!)

A picture of the caring fisherman, Joe, with cooked Lionfish. Yum!
[Prof note: Lionfish are an invasive species in Jamaica and divers are encouraged to spear them to reduce their population.]

What about the barracuda? Well, you see, I didn’t really know it was a barracuda. I’ve seen some really cool looking silvery long fish (ie. Needlefish). When I saw a foot-long fish, I had to snap a photo of it. When I got closer, I was like hmmmm… seems familiar. So, I took a photo of it. I am very glad I saw it right after lunch, the fish was able to pose for me. Needless to say, it was a great barracuda! When I realized that I chased a foot-long barracuda for a photo, I was shocked. Being able to see this amazing fish up close and personal is breath-taking and I can’t wait to see what else Discovery Bay’s coral reef has to offer.

A picture of the barracuda.

Signing off,
Nectarine Nick

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