Location: Lizard Island

Well, we are halfway through our second week – part of me feels like it has been a lot longer already since everyone is starting to get really comfortable with each other, and at the same time, I can’t believe it has been that long already. The program has been going great so far. We have a great crew on board, the weather has been awesome, and the islands of Australia we have been to have been beautiful. We are currently anchored in a bay on Lizard Island, which is one of the best-known islands on the Great Barrier Reef. And what better place than the middle of the Great Barrier Reef to learn about coral? This morning after breakfast, we had an OCB class, in which I taught about the phylum cnidaria, which includes jellyfish and corals. Everyone has been working hard on their species ID logs, going through all of the books we have onboard Argo to identify the species of fish, invertebrates, and corals that they have been seeing on their dives so far. Yay science! Today was also another day full of diving – the students working on their Open Water certification had their fourth and final dive in the morning. In the afternoon, the Advanced Open Water students did their navigation dive. The Open Water students also took their final exam in the afternoon. So now everyone onboard Argo is a certified diver (and there is currently cake baking in the oven for a celebration!) There are many ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery here. Although I did not get in the water with the rest of the divers today, I enjoyed it by going for a paddle around the bay on my inflatable stand-up paddleboard. Upon my return, I kept the endorphins flowing by leading a Zumba class on top of the deck. It was a small but committed group (Zoe, Annie S, Alec, and I), and we had a lot of fun dancing around, and I think we provided a bit of entertainment for the rest of the crew. The day concluded with once again a brilliantly colored sky at sunset, always one of my favorite parts of the day.