Location: Andritxol, Mallorca

Today was our second day of diving in Andrixtol and the first day of the new chore wheel. Before today the staff and students had separate wheels so that there would always be a staff member to lead each chore. Today was the first day of the new wheel with everyone. This means that now students are in charge of the jobs most of the time. For most jobs, this doesn’t change a whole lot, but the one that it makes a difference for is a chef because now it’s up to us to take the lead on cooking. Today the head chef was Ev, helped by CJ and Peter, and they did a fantastic job. All three meals they made were delicious, and the absence of leftovers was indeed not due to any lack of food.
The diving today was also excellent with water that was surprisingly pleasant in spite of the fact that it was cloudy and a little chilly in the morning. Today the people who had not yet gotten scuba certifications finished their training dives and are now (with the exception of myself) certified divers.

On my first dive, my ears were bothering me, and refusing to equalize, I was forced to leave off diving for the day. I was understandably very disappointed by this. However, Argo is anchored in a cove with some tall cliffs surrounding it, and so I decided that if I couldn’t dive, I should at least get in some climbing. Thanks to our wonderful captain, who not only allowed this expedition but also took the time to drop us off, Jake, Cole, Aric, Mathew, Oleg, and myself set out to explore the coastline. The first challenge was getting out of the water because the waves and steep rock necessitated us to jump out of the dinghy and swim to shore, then scramble up the cliff face to a spot with an excellent view of the cove and Argo. From there, Oleg and I headed further up the cliffs to do some more exploring, followed a little later by Jake. We discovered a family of mountain goats, including a nearly pure white baby and a strange and slightly creepy hut with several manikin heads. About the time we had explored most of the cliffs within easy reach of the landing site, the divers finished their last dive, and we were called back to the boats. As with the landing, they couldnt get to us, so we had to jump off a low bit of rock and swim out to them, which turned out to be quite fun.

Upon our return to Argo, we ate dinner and then had some time to work on homework and our research projects, and one of the groups took the opportunity to take samples of microplastics in the water. In the evening, we had a quiz on marine biology and then bed. Overall it was a busy day, but also an enjoyable and productive one.

Pictured: James, Ev, and Peter in the galley; a view of Argo and the cove we have been anchored in; Jonas, Jake, Sydney, and Dana practicing sampling for microplastics; students working together on a marine biology matching game to study for their upcoming exam.