The past several days in San Salvador have been beautiful, warm and sunny. They were perfect for snorkeling and finishing data collection for research projects. It seems the Bahamas only get better with time.
On Sunday, a few students went to a Baptist Church again, while others caught up on sleep from the previous night’s data collection. In the afternoon we went snorkeling at Rocky Point. A litter of ten puppies who are three weeks old whose mother was unable to feed them any more ended up at the Research Center. Our class was offered the task of feeding and playing with them several times a day. So far, there are few complaints. In the evening, we had a break from lectures and most of the class headed to the Almond Tree to watch the football game.
Yesterday dawned another glorious day, so naturally we went snorkeling at Bamboo Point in the morning and Sue Reef after lunch. At Bamboo point, there is no barrier reef so the ocean floor slowly becomes deeper until the “wall”. The wall is where the shallow floor surrounding the island drops off into deep ocean. It was quite a sight to swim over the drop off where suddenly the bottom disappears. Many large (and small) fish were seen, including Southern Sting Rays and Great Barracudas. In the evening, each student presented on a final organism.
This morning we took our tidal pool exam along the shore of Dump Reef at a 6:00 a.m. because that's when low tide was. We were rewarded with getting to watch the sky turn from dark into a warm sunrise. After breakfast, we walked back to Dump Reef. On the way, we took our terrestrial exam of mostly plants and some other organisms we've learned about during our time here. At Dump Reef, small groups went out with Dr. Larsen to take our fish identification field exam. I would have to say it was the most enjoyable exam I've taken in college.
This afternoon the we went out to Monument Beach for some fun snorkeling and exploring along the beach. The water was some of clearest and calmest we’ve swam in so far, and most of our class took advantage of the sun by taking naps on the beach. This evening we ate dinner at the Columbus Tavern to celebrate our last evening here and experience Bahamian food, including Grouper!
Tomorrow morning, we will pack up and leave the Research Center around noon. From San Salvador, we will fly to Nassau and get to Miami in the evening. The reality of our time on San Salvador soon coming to an end has not really sunk in for my classmates and me, and if we could, I think we would all be happy to stay for another week. This being said, our time here has been well spent, warm and delightful. Kristine once wrote on a letter that the return address was “paradise”. Paradise would be an apt word to describe the sunny and full day we lived today. We may not be ready for our time here to come to an end, but we are grateful for the time spent here.
Thank you for the sweet time San Salvador! Until next time.