Location: Similan Islands, Thailand

Overall today was a pretty relaxed day. After breakfast, those who were scuba-certified pre-Seamester went on their own adventure while the rest of us (most of us, at least) got a jump on the fish IDs we have to do for Marine Biology. It is actually pretty enjoyable to find pictures of the fish we have seen while diving and finally be able to name some of them. I really feel that combining the classes we are taking with our day-to-day experiences makes each thing we learn much more satisfying. I know a little sign language, so I started teaching my dive partner, Anna, the alphabet and some words. It’s been working out really great because when we see a fish, we can tell each other what we are looking at! While we were doing our homework, someone shouted down to the saloon that there was a whale shark! The mad rush up those stairs was pretty comical as everyone tried to make out if they had heard “whale shark” correctly or what was going on that was causing such a ruckus. When those of us who were down below made it on deck, we could make a massive dark animal in the water. Of course, then the debate began of whether it was a whale shark, leopard shark, or the world’s largest ray. The marine animal ID books all came off the shelf as people pointed at what they thought it wasthe group consensus: whale shark.

Besides the massive marine animal sighting, the other highlight of the day was dinner. Not only was the food superb- thank you, Shannon!- but the question of the day (posed by yours truly) taught us a little more about each other and our creative sides. The question was, if you had an imaginary friend, what would it look like, and what would it be named? It was great to learn how creative our shipmates and instructors are. Anna told us about her childhood vampire princess imaginary friend. Guilia went with Harry Potter as her imaginary friend; a few others chose animals; Kris used to have someone named Mr. Bombero (he used to put gas in Kris’s little pedal car when he was a kid). It was great fun, and we were laughing through most of the dinner, which is pretty much the norm around here. I figure out of 90 days; I’ll have spent something like 20 days full of sleeping, 68 full of laughing, and the last two full of sweating from all the hard work we do! Time to relax a little before hitting the hay and resting up for tomorrow’s adventures!