Saturday, December 4--Day 6:
Another gorgeous day consisting of a lot of snorkeling and seeing a lot of cool creatures! Our group split into two and one went to Pigeon Cay to snorkel while the other went in part of the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world (I still can't get over that). I was in the group that went to the barrier reef first and it was such an amazing experience because it was my first encounter with being able to see all of these colorful fish and other cool marine animals swimming around me.
I can't take credit for this picture, but here's an idea of what the reef looked like. Thanks to global warming and other environmental stress, it's not as bright and gorgeous as you'd picture, but it's still amazing. And much better in person.
After lots of snorkeling, we headed back in the boat to meet the other group for lunch at Pigeon Cay. Very cool place--it's a very small island, but is definitely an island, and we had it all to ourselves.
After lunch, we did some snorkeling around the island followed by a plant walk discussing the terrestrial aspect of the island. And here's some of us posing for a picture on the island:
This location was where I saw a nurse shark and a family of sting rays which was soooo cool. I wish I could have gotten pictures of them all!
We boated back to the field station for taco night (this is every Saturday). Us OU students loved the idea of taco night, but didn't know if it was such a good idea to have on Saturday night seeing as how we were all going to be drinking that night. Turns out that it didn't end well for me--that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Sunday, December 5--Day 7:
UGGGHHHH. This is exactly how I felt when I woke up, throughout the entire day, and until I went to sleep that night. It was one of those all day hungover affairs. I will spare you the details, but basically I try to block out this day but I will tell you what the rest of the group did.
They went to a few blue holes and saw some turtles (that's the one thing I was really sad about missing out on) and we had lunch on a beach in Nichol's Town. They had this famous Conch Salad which I was told was different but very tasty. It was the perfect day to catch some rays, but I just looked like a beached whale instead. Moving on to feeling better the next day...
Monday, December 6--Day 8:
I felt a million times better after a lot of sleep and water, but I was still trying to take it easy (somewhat). This day was also the first day I noticed it starting to get colder than we wanted/anticipated. Thank goodness for that 5 mm wet suit! We boated out to a place with A LOT of sand dollars. I have a TON of pictures of it in my album (check it outttt). I'm pretty sure I collected about 10-15 and to this day, only one has survived. After the sand dollar fun, we had a little plant tour and learned all about mangroves which bored me since I took a class in the fall and spring and learned all about them. But hey, review can't be that bad.
Tuesday, December 7--Day 9:
The first day of it being REALLY cold. And by really cold, I mean overnight was in the low 60's upper 50's. When the warmest clothes you packed were jeans and a light jacket and there is no heat or insulation of any sort, upper 50's and lower 60's is WAY too cold to sleep in. From this point on, everyone wore pretty much all the same clothes because we only packed so many warm things. It was kind of funny because we knew who everyone was without having to be that close or see their faces just by what they were wearing. This cold front also made for a much colder snorkeling experience. Not the most pleasant time, but I tried to make the best of it.
We headed to the Mennonite Farm first. I won't lie, I wasn't interested by any of this so I got a little ADD and wandered around doing other things or daydreaming so I can't really tell you much. BUT, the cool thing was that they had a bunch of grapefruit and orange trees so I picked a few and they were delicious!
A and C cup!
Next we went to Morgan's Bluff which is the highest point on the island:
There was also a small cave by it that we went through..so small in fact I nearly hit my head 230483287 times but somehow made it out alive!
Next stop was Money Point where we saw a lot of invertebrates--even an octopus (sadly, no picture).
Wednesday, December 8--Day 10
This day wasn't too exciting or different from what we had been doing. It consisted of botany walks, snorkling, and hanging out. The cool thing was though, that night we had a lecture from Ryan about Andros Island music. He talked about what music was like many many years ago and how it has changed but still maintained that islandy feel. It was great to get a dose of what this island is like culturally instead of constantly being fed information about the biological aspects.
Thursday, December 9--Day 11
The past few days and this day started out with botany walks because it was too cold to snorkel in the morning, so we again had a wonderful terrestrial lecture (but hey I was in the Bahamas and about to get an A in a 5 credit class so I wasn't complaining). This day must have been one of the colder ones because we didn't go snorkeling at all. Instead we did something REALLY cool and went do a few local schools and put on a puppet show about recycling. It was SO fun and really cool to meet the kids.
One of my favorite photos--the Bahamian kids representing OU :)
Like I said before, it was so cool to get a feel for the Andros Island's culture by meeting and interacting with the kids! Later on, we had another dose of Andros culture--their food! Dinner was a buffet full of homemade food that the local Andros natives eat all the time and it was delicious! I'm pretty sure I had thirds but had no regrets because I knew I wasn't going to eat this again for a VERY long time. Needless to say I didn't want to ever eat again after it. Obviously that didn't happen.