Gap Program Update #5

It’s week five of our time here on Eleuthera, and we started off the past seven days by diving head first into each of our intensive projects. Just a little background before I continue: for the rest of our time here at CEI, each of us gets to help out on various projects going on at the institute. Each gap year student will be doing something different for their last three weeks, depending on what projects interest them the most.

I spent the week working with the wonderful shark team here at CEI. Currently, they are doing a longline behavioral study, seeing how sharks act once they are hooked on a longline, and how this affects their blood counts. Two other gappers, along with myself, got to go out and help set and check the longline for sharks. As of now, we have yet to see a shark, and we are slowly becoming convinced that we have cursed the entire team. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this coming week will bring new results!

Other than intensives, we completed two more dives – our deep dive and our naturalist dive – and are almost done getting advanced open water certified! I know I put an exclamation point after that last sentence, but in a way I am kind of sad that we are almost certified, because in the process of getting certified we have gotten to go on some amazing dive excursions. We’ve visited sites that make you feel like you’re in a whole new underwater world, swimming amongst grouper, lionfish, and barracuda, and I will miss going out twice a week to experience those things.

Anyway, after a long week of intensives and diving, the whole group was exhausted and spent Saturday relaxing at Plum Creek, our favorite beach, and enjoying each other’s company. I think we all realize our time left here is dwindling, and we want to make the most of it. And there you have it, week five has ticked away, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my gap year experience will entail. So far, it has been an amazing and wild ride.

by Jack Davis