Thursday, September 9, 2010

Salt Flats. Or square crystals?

Absolutely everything is covered in salt. Its not so noticeable on your clothes, but if you haven't licked your lips in a while, its a mouthful of salt, and I recently discovered actual salt crystals caught in the ridges and face of my watch. I have salt in my eyebrows, belly button, behind my ears, under my fingernails and in the ridges of my shoes. Its a little ridiculous.

On another note, today has been another grueling day of classes. 4 classes and a dive check today, and I am utterly exhausted. I completed several hours of reading and a group project, and after a night dive/bathe, it is somehow 1230 and I can barely keep my eyes open, so this post will be brief.

All my equiptment tastes like plastic, but thats not the worst thing in the world. After we got geared up for our afternoon dive test, we loaded the boat and rolled off the edge into the water. After 20 minutes of "take your regulator out of your mouth and put it back in. take your mask off and put it back on. take your BCD off and put it back on", it was pretty plain to see that I was the most confident and calm diver in my group. Most of the others were flailing but I was solid. That makes me much more comfortable in the water to know Im not way behind the curve of the group, since some of the students intimdate me with the places they've traveled to. Many have already been to the Bahamas, or Cancun, or Bermuda, and its a little nervewracking to know that some of them have been diving for a year or so already. But not to fear, everyone should pick up the learning curve fairly quickly. :)

Took a nap before dinner so I could make it to 10 o clock pm, and woke up to delicious dinner and the most stunning sunset.

Scorpion Fish
Chirstmas Prawn
Giant Anemone

A few hours of reading, and it was time for a night dive. I admit, I was a little freaked out to be diving with only one other person in the dead of night, but it wasnt nearly as horrible as I thought. First of all, our docks are pretty well lit by the lights on the upper buildings. Second, the stars were wonderful and it was really easy to see the cliff face and the opposite dock, our boundary markers. On another note, the milky way seems much closer from here. Its fatter and closer, as if put under a magnifying glass. But I digress. Hilary and I hit the water running (swimming?) and immediately spotted a Southern stingray, attracted to the light of the other snorkelers that just came out. We snorkeled for a good hour, spotting a few beautiful anemones out for the night, a smaller lionfish, an awkward Caribbean sea cucumber, a defensive Christmas prawn and a very large, scary looking lobster. All in all, it was a great dive, and the water feels amazingly refreshing at night. Literally bath water (which is convenient because that's pretty much what we're doing...)

Studying was a little difficult with the raucous music from the local bar, Trenchtown bar, but it adds to the laid back atmosphere of the island, or "Island Time". I am excited to do our first outreach projects or go to the local hotel at night and meet more people, find out their stories. Hilary and I also have a secret snorkel mission planned out for Sunday to scope out a significant find, so more details on that to come ;)

The weather here, though salty, hasn't really fluctuated from the 80 degree marks. Nights feel like Fresno nights: muggy and warm, low 80's and the days are 86-ish. But, if you consult about the temperature here, it is pretty accurate in saying "86, feels like 102". Thats about right. But, I think tonight is the coolest its been so I think I'll sleep pretty well. Goodnight from the tropics!


  1. Love the pics! Are they from your new camera?

  2. Yes ma'am! Well, the underwater ones aren't, I grabbed them off my snorkel partner's camera, but all the land pics are mine!