Swimming, diving, and snorkeling requires much more energy than we commonly think. For most days of the past week, a majority of us have gotten up at around 6:00 AM to explore our underwater world. This meant exerting large amounts of energy at very early times. Due to the common occurrence of being overtired and hungry, today I experienced nausea at sea. I decided not to SCUBA dive this morning because my nose was slightly congested and we were always told not to go diving if we did not feel great. I had been snorkeling right outside of the marine lab, but this morning we hopped on the boats and went about 15 minutes west (or east; I am not entirely sure). [Prof note: It was East.] This was to get to a new site we had yet to explore. It was gorgeous and the water was crystal clear with visibility down to around 50 or 60 feet. The only downside as a snorkeler this morning was the fact that you are right on the surface of the water and therefore receiving the blunt end of the incoming waves. Unlike our nice little sanctuary at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab, where we have a reef to buffer the incoming waves, here we were being tossed around straight on. It was not terrible and I definitely did not fear for my life, but it did make me slightly nauseas not being able to control my body movements and being involuntarily swooshed around by the massive forces of the ocean.
On a happier note, after Kelly and I had enough of the drifting and snorkeling, we swam back to the boat and peacefully floated on our backs in the water. This was extremely relaxing and definitely took away from the nausea we were both slightly experiencing. It was a great experience though because we were able to clearly see yellow stingrays and beautiful sea fans from about 30 feet away. Being able to have this incredible visibility is one huge benefit of Jamaica because you don’t need to dive or be able to swim really well. Instead of putting your body under stress, you can simply strap on your mask and snorkel and float on your tummy while looking down and seeing a perfect view of the underwater world. I imagine we will continue to dive bright and early, and I look forward to continuing the learning and exploration available to us here. Maybe next time I will just take some Dramamine before.