A Day in San Sal

After a beautiful, bug-free, and breezy night, our day started off as a peaceful Sunday morning with some much needed unscheduled time. Most people caught up on sleep, played cards, or did some extra work on presentations or research projects.

Our daring divers

This left many groups scattered in local areas such as Dump Reef, North Point, the GRC or huddled in the air conditioned lab room assigned to Witt. However, our lucky divers got to experience two deep-water dives to The Wall and Runway 10. The Wall dive was to 70 feet and Runway 10 was around 50 feet. During their dive they got to see huge barrel sponges, a large Caribbean spiny lobster eating a snail, and a 10 foot reef shark. As our morning came to a close, we all gathered back at the GRC for some delicious lunch. Even though it was great, some of us couldn’t help but dream about the fresh, local conch fritters we ate the night before.

As we gathered to load on the bus after our lunch break, it was clear how the different research projects had progressed by the various equipment, destination, and sampling techniques being used. The truck was loaded with quadrats, collection buckets, tape measures, super suckers and the usual snorkel gear.

Teamwork- Sarah and Will at Watling's Castle yesterday

Today many groups headed to either Sand Dollar or Bonefish Bay to continue collecting data. Other groups ventured to nearby sites such as North Point to continue transect work and data collection. As the focus shifts away from class trips, research has been the dominant activity during the last week. However with close attention being paid to the reefs in research projects there are still many exciting creatures being spotted. Today the list included medusa worms, a common octopus, a hawksbill turtle, and a yellow-spotted eel.

Snorkel Smiles

In the evening we continued group phylum presentations, learning about plants and arthropods. It is odd to think that we will be leaving this place so soon. At least for us, San Salvador and the GRC have become a hot and sandy, yet gorgeous, home away from home.

-written by Lauren Bien ’11 & Emily Dick ’13