Cacique Update-September 17, 2010

By Caciques Heather Seeley and Jack DeVries

Today was the second day of sample run and swim tracks, in which half the campus split to run the 4-mile loop and the other half swam a loop around triangle cut. The run, though a challenge, proved rejuvenating for all participants. As for me, running on the flat, sandy roads with the Bahamian sun rising behind our backs was an experience like no other.  The samplings of morning exercise tracks seem to have given the students a better idea of whether they want to train to accomplish the 4-mile ocean swim or run the half-marathon (13.1 miles).

After a satisfyingly filling breakfast, we headed off to start our fifth official day of classes.  Today’s subjects included Celestial Navigation, Literature, and Bahamian History.   Probably the most important and time-consuming part of our day was the 4 ¾ hours of research projects, in which each of the eight projects had their first experience out in the field.  Jack’s research group, Lemon Sharks, spent the afternoon in Page Creek “seining” (setting out large nets) for the sharks’ prey items such as Needle and Hound fish.   Heather’s research, Flats Ecology, also took place in Page Creek, where we snorkeled and observed organisms of the mangrove environment including Barracudas, Puffer Fish, and Schoolmaster Snappers.  The goal of today’s Flats research was to catch sixteen Schoolmasters in order to bring them back to the C.E.I. Lab for testing.

All in all, today proved to be another exhausting but entertaining day at the Island School.  After dinner we begin our preparation for Settlement Day, in which we’ll spend the majority of Saturday getting to know local Bahamian people in neighboring towns.