Breaking the surface of the water, we pulled off our masks and cheered as loudly as we could. K1 and K2 had just received their SCUBA certification! For the past three days, the two groups have worked tirelessly to master all of the required skills to be eligible to graduate to PADI Open Water Divers. Congrats everyone, well, everyone in K1 and K2 that is!
While K1 and K2 were mastering their SCUBA skills, K3 and K4 had the pleasure of having their first class! After a fun filled morning of discussions, K3 and K4 had a first hand go at Querencia, an alone time for individuals to reflect on their experiences so far.
By evening time, K1, K2, K3 and K4 were finally united again to celebrate the 4th of July! Armed with cameras, we progressed to the Boy’s Dorm Beach to end the night with a BONDINGfire. Our Island School term warmly welcomed Camden Hills and Ocean Side schools who will joinging us on campus for the next ten days! After a very long photo-shoot, with many blinding flashes, we roasted marshmallows and set off fireworks. #USA
Calling it an early night, we all went to bed tired and excited for a new day!
Beep…beep…. beep goes the alarm. Turning over in their beds, reluctant Island School students dread the coming event; the infamous psycho. Sleepwalking towards the flagpole, exhausted students smell the aroma of the psycho in the air. Soon after John Schatz began the most intense and trying work out thus far. The psycho incorporated running with various exercises intermitted with psychotic wails of pain. By the end of the work out every student was gasping for air, as we sprinted towards the finish line.
Two days of drills and skills left SCUBA students yearning for the freedom that certification would bring. A small dose of this was provided during our last dive, a free descent with ample exploration time. Tunnel Rock, a coral reef teeming with exotic fish, was the backdrop for our final certification dive. Dividing the reef is a partially enclosed tunnel, which both amazed and intimidated the fledgling divers. After forty minutes of leisurely diving the groups were proud to ascend to the surface as certified divers.
The jammed packed day finished with a sense of success. From psychos to SCUBA everyone was able to sit down to a much-deserved plate of spaghetti and garlic bread with a feeling of accomplishment.
Sipping a cold lemonade at the docks by the Marina Store, we gaze out at the never-ending sea, reflecting upon the events of the day:
Well rested from the hour long sleep-in, we felt replenished and ready to conquer the challenge that laid ahead of us as we rolled out of bed. The sound of the Bahamian National Anthem resounded off the dorms around campus, the team morale was at an all-time high. Shortly after breakfast, we rushed towards the boathouse, preparing the boats for our departure. Once all the gear was on each boat, the groups split off, heading in their own direction for the day.
It was our second day of scuba. Everyone was looking forward to furthering the process of our certification. We reached our destinations, strapped on the unwieldy gear, and proceeded to splash into the deep blue water. As we plunged down deeper and deeper, the vivid colors of the coral reefs became much more apparent. Fish glistened in the sun as they darted behind rocks and spongy plants, and the seaweed swayed in the gentle current. Our fins propelled us forward as we explored the reef and its inhabitants. Besides the bubbles grazing our cheeks, pure silence engulfed us. We felt at ease, all the worries of our Human Ecology Homework forgotten, as we glided through the bright blue ocean.
Later, after our underwater expeditions, we hopped on our bikes and pedaled furiously to the Marina Store. After a leisurely stroll down by the pier, a few of us purchased ice-cold refreshments, a perfect end to a perfect day.
Now, standing here, looking out at the horizon, we can’t help but notice the shimmering water that we dove into earlier today. We realize we have taken a giant step up the stairs that is our journey at the Island School; we have come that much closer to certification.