As per our usual routine, we began our day at 07:00 hours. After everyone struggled out of their bunks to the tune of some 80s music, by Asher’s request, we made sandwiches for our lunch out and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of apple walnut muffins as the rain started to sprinkle down on our heads once again. We quickly broke into breakfast cleanup and with fears of being drenched by the oncoming rain, finished up in no time at all. We then gathered and packed our things needed for the day and headed up on deck in full foul weather gear to discover the sun warmly shining down upon us. We then split into two groups, hopped aboard two wooden tour boats, and started for the Indian River. As we made our up the river, the second boat took salinity and temperature readings at half-meter increments, starting from the surface going down to four meters in eight separate locations. It is really awesome to see all the information we’ve been learning about in class now being used in the field.
Additionally, Sea|mester has been taking readings along the Indian River since 2006, which helps us, students and locals, alike to better see trends in the information. As our tour guide paddled us up the river, we made a stop at the location that was used to film Tia Dalma’s shack in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. While the original shack is no longer there, another similar in appearance has been built in its place. Seeing a variety of crabs and birds along the way, we continued up the river until we reached a small bar/hut where we stopped, ate our lunch, ordered a few local fruit juices, and explored a few small trails. With our stomachs now full, we piled back into the boats for our trip back downriver. This time the front boat took the same readings to verify our accuracy, but also to ensure that everyone had a chance to use the equipment. Once we arrived back at Ocean Star, it was time short OCB class with Steph, followed by a rescue dive class, and then a little bit of “free” time, which most of us used to study or complete assignments. Micaela and Ciara presented us with an amazing homemade pizza dinner, which was eaten so quickly you wouldn’t have even known it was there were it not for the dirty dishes the crew would soon clean. After finishing this trip log, it is off to leadership class with Ian and then to bed to rest up for the adventures tomorrow holds.