Hey friends! My name is Kiran Sinha and I am a rising senior at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. I am currently majoring in both marine science and environmental studies with a focus in marine conservation. The day is June 9th and I am writing to you from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in Little Cayman. Today is Friday and one of the best days of the week.
Our day starts at 7 am when the breakfast bell rings, the interns rush downstairs to eat a quick meal of bagels, fruit, and cereal before packing up dive gear and loading it into two vans and one rusty red truck. With a stroke of luck we make it out of the driveway with one minute to spare before 8, our best time yet! Once we have arrived at the dock and load the boat with tanks and gear, we head out through the cut and out to sea. The waves are no friend of ours today, we quickly take on water while hitting a rogue wave, but not one of us trembles because we know we are in the safe hands of our trusted boat captain, Lowell. Today we are diving at ICON, right in front of CMMI. We are diving down a large reef wall at a max depth of 65 ft and completing our very first fish survey for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). On our second dive we are conducting a roving urchin survey at the reef Crystal Palace. We have become quite familiar with surveying urchins, so by now there are minimal to no hiccups in the operation. Once our 20 minute survey has completed, we follow our dive leader Drew around to observe fish and watch him spear Lionfish. Drew was able to collect 4 large fish in a matter of 15 minutes!
Upon return to land, we unload the boat and head back to home base. The interns go through the daily routine of unloading tanks and gear before excitedly running to the dining area to see what Ms. Em cooked up for everyone. After a delicious meal, the students attempt a last second study session before our coral species quiz. The quiz consists of 19 species tagged on the reef in front of CCMI. Each student had to snorkel out to the path and write down the common name of each tagged species on a slate and turn it into Drew for grading. Once the group finished the quiz, the day has finally come to an end, and it is time to get ready for a night out on the “town”. We excitedly shower and dress up for karaoke night at Beach Resort, followed by a trip to the Iggy. The interns and instructors danced the night away on our last Friday night together. Its safe to say that it was another great day here on Little Cayman!
Thanks for reading! Until next time!
Kiran Sinha of Eckerd College ’18