Day 2 – Sustainability and Snorkeling

 

Greetings again from the pink skied land of gentle breezes and real mac and cheese!

 

One group

The other group

Our first full day here started with a sunrise swim and snorkel. After a few minutes of messing with equipment and figuring out fins, we managed to get out there and spy all kinds of marine life including an upside down Cassiopea jellyfish! Gorgeous.

Gearing up for the dreaded swim test

 

On the dock at the boathouse

Then we split into two groups. We took turns touring the Cape Eleuthera Institute and environs and got a sense of the whole idea of this place. Everything here exists with sustainability in mind, from the aquaponic growing systems (fish and vegetables) to the various electric systems (including solar and wind), to the compost heaps and water cisterns. We loved the ducks and chickens, but not the noni fruit.

Fish research tank

Fun with foul

New best friends

The dining hall cistern is almost full thanks to lots of rain.

After lunch, we split again. The Gold group checked out a mangrove…grove.It’s magical, to peer into the submerged roots and see entire worlds in there. In fact, there was some discussion in both groups about how much we’d all be missing if we couldn’t get beneath the surface and actually see these underwater universes just teeming with life.

Pre-mangrove hands-on research

Young scientists

A different world

The currents were tough on the way out, but entirely cooperative on the way back.

Circle time

At the same time, the Alpha group headed to a reef for a lesson in coral from the institute’s resident expert. Anna’s enthusiam for this important living architecture was contagious, and we saw tons of stuff. No one was freaked out by the giant barracuda, and the delightful camouflaged sea biscuits cracked us up. We’ve been lucky with the weather, the few scattered downpours keeping things cool. Nothing could dampen our spirits.

As if this weren’t enough activity to fill a day, we rounded things out in the afternoon with a leisurely swim chat just outside the dorm, followed by dinner and some group games. Everyone (almost :)) is finally sound asleep, dreaming sweet dreams to the sounds of gentle lapping waves and one crazy melodious frog parked invisibly nearby.

Tomorrow: Another day.

Day 1 – Travel Day

Welcome to Eleuthera!

As you know, we got an early start today. But it’s amazing what the human body can do on two hours of sleep. Today was even more inspiring than the average Really Long Trip because it was punctuated in Nassau by a magical solar eclipse viewing from a convenient outdoor deck. We even made some friends.

After a long travel day, we arrived safely at Rock Sound Airport on Eleuthera at 5:00 PM. We were greeted by our wonderful trip leaders Anna, Claire, and Galen. After a lovely and informative drive along the west coast of this narrow island, we finally made it to the very tip of the whale’s tale (see map above).

Even in these early stages, every new activity is an opportunity to learn. Drink lots of water. Take navy showers. Keep the sand outside the dorm rooms. Take only as much food as you plan to eat. Most important: Live in the moment.

Looking forward to a terrific day tomorrow!

Ready, set, go!

We are so excited to travel to Eleuthera! Please be sure to arrive to Logan Airport, Terminal B, American Airlines Counter by 4:00 AM on Monday August 21.

Below you will see posts from our 2015 and 2016 trips. We hope you enjoy seeing our adventures from the past two years and are excited to make your own memories in the Bahamas this summer!

Day 6 – Swim Swim Swim

Wow! Last day! What’s most amazing is that they’re all still going strong.

Run/Swim
Bathing suit, snorkel, running shoes: that was our prep list for this morning. Today was the day of the infamous run/swim. We started at the boathouse with a swim across the first channel, then ran a rocky path through woods and over an obstacle or two. Then, another channel and another glorious run. Some calisthenics. More swimming, more running, and then the hard part: scale the channel wall. Then we all did the same in reverse, only this time with a jump off  high rocks. YES, some major fears were conquered! It was marvelously challenging for all and earned a relieved and exhilarated thumbs up when it was over.

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Down Island Tour, Ocean Hole, and Cotton Bay
The rest of the morning and afternoon were spent on a tour of the island, another lovely swim and rock jumping at Ocean Hole, and then a picnic on the beach. We took a break to learn about plastics and spent time picking up trash, then right back in the water to cool off.

Look at these amazing jumpers!

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Our day at Cotton Bay!

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The End
We had a wonderful closing fire with chocolate chip cookie s’mores (ask your kid) and a rousing game of Fairy Tale. The magnificent full moon shown down on our Bahamas farewells and lit the way back to the dorms for an early bedtime (still working on that).

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It has been a week to remember. We hope your child will share lots of memories and keep the island vibe alive, living in the moment today and from now on.