Hello from the Bahamas! Because the internet has been on and off, it has taken a few days to get a blog out, but here we are! On Thursday we were up before the sun to catch our flight. After two short trips in the air, we made it to San Salvador. We arrived at the Gerace Research Center in time for lunch, following which we attended a brief orientation. In the afternoon we went snorkeling about a quarter mile down the beach from the Research Center in Grahams Harbor! We saw many sea turtles and many other organisms including Sergeant Major fish, Razor clams, Bristle Brush algae, Nassau Groupers and Cushion Sea Stars. Later in the afternoon the overcast day turned into thunder storms which lasted most of night and into the morning. After an exciting but long day, most people were asleep before 9:00 p.m.
Yesterday, we went on a tidal pool walk in the morning where we spotted Fuzzy Chitons, Rock Boring Urchins, Sea Hare Snails and Hermit Crabs. We saw a lot of other organisms in and around the tidal pools. In the afternoon we attended a lecture and talked about the day’s observations as more rain came down. Last night we went for a night tidal pool walk in the same area we walked in the morning to see what changes we could spot in; the tidal pools at night. A baby nurse shark was seen swimming in the shallows and Fuzzy Chitons were all about.
Our first two days it rained much more than it usually does here. For reference, in 24 hours, San Salvador got seven 7 inches of rain. However, it usually only gets 2 inches of rain in the entire month of January!
This morning we woke up to clear skies and SUN! We headed to Rice Bay to snorkel around two reefs. A plethora of colorful fish were seen, including an octopus! After lunch we headed out again to another reef, off of the shore we went tide pooling along yesterday. A few people returned a little redder than they started the day, but so far no major sunburns.
Look for another update in the coming days! My classmates and I are getting to know each better every day and are enjoying each other’s company as well as the diversity and beauty of San Salvador.