The group began their day by mentally preparing themselves for the swim from Rice Bay to Man Head Cay. Having been to Rice Bay before, this was familiar territory. Swimming all the way to a nearby cay, however, was something else. On the way, we saw a “Great” great barracuda and a large sand tilefish (seen only by our very own Nicki Perry). After our landing, we prepared for our ascent up the side of the cay. On the top, we saw breath-taking views of San Salvador Island, including the Dixon Hill Lighthouse which we visited only a few days ago.
In addition to the large amount of plants on Man Head Cay, we also had the unique experience to observe the rare species of iguana native to San Salvador. Males were easily spotted since their red backs stood out against the grey rocks while they sun bathed. Females and their young were less easily spotted because of their more camouflaged appearance. While walking towards the end of the Cay, many students were surprised by a number of bridled terns angrily defending their roosts. Students were within feet of the birds and were able to observe various behaviors. While using the binoculars, a small group of students witnessed a battle between two birds over food.
The group ended their day with a quick climb down the cay and another long swim back to Rice Bay. Later in the afternoon students split up into their research groups to continue their projects on Sand dollar Reef or Bonefish Bay. Gordon was pleased to not have any more battle wounds from his enemy, the fire coral, although there was another close call. Some students were treated to a sighting of a sea turtle, while others had the amusement of watching a Black Durgeon swim sideways in shallow water. Around four o’clock, a tired group of students trekked back into the dorms for a cold shower and dinner.
Students spent the evening watching Blue Planet: Coral Seas, an excellent break from the past few days. Tomorrow we have a test, so many of us will spend the night studying and dreaming of the birds we learned about recently. Parents and friends, send us your luck, we are all hoping for A’s tomorrow!
by Andrea Rodriguez ’15 and Gordon Li ‘14