Archive: February 2014

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Today we woke up after a 6:30 call by Zane.  We had a refreshing morning dip and then quickly dried off to have breakfast while the vessel motored from Francis Bay to Soper’s Hole.  After clearing customs, we raised the sails and set off for Sandy Cay.  This small island reminded many of us of a tropical desktop screensaver – it was that beautiful!  The sun was hot, so it was sunblock all around today.  After we had hiked and…

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Leaving at 3:00 am in 18-degree weather, the 6th Caribbean Studies group finally arrived at the warm and welcoming island of St. Thomas – after one long bus ride from Tabor to Boston and two flights.  At the airport, we were greeted by Yogi, our conch-playing taxi driver, who toured us around the island while playing throwbacks on the radio.  Once aboard the vessel, we got underway to sail from Red Hook to Francis Bay.  During the sail we were…

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With an abbreviated time frame for research, the students of Cruise 5 made the most of their time in the water. After we sailed into Leinster Bay on Saturday evening, the students donned their gear and did a quick practice dive at Waterlemon Cay to familiarize themselves with our research protocols. Quickly learning from the challenges they encountered and a review of their first photos, the students were well prepared to begin work the following day.  Our Eklhorn mapping began…

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After yet another stellar day in the Caribbean, our roles changed from sailors to researchers. We set out in St. John’s Leinster Bay to collect data on an endangered species called Acropora palmata, also known as Elkhorn coral. This coral species has suffered a mortality rate of 85% in the last 25 years, specifically due to Patchy Necrosis, or “White Patch Disease.” Our objective was as clear as the crystal blue Caribbean waters we currently occupy – to examine the…

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We awoke this morning at 6:30 to go for a morning dip in the rain – one of the many rainstorms we endured today.  After a quick breakfast we dressed in our snorkel gear and headed to the wreck of the RMS Rhone.  The Rhone was a 310-foot royal mail steamer that was trying to get to sea to ride out a hurricane but sank after being driven ashore on Black Rock Point.  When we arrived at Salt Island the…

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We woke up at indistinguishable hours in the morning… or night… four times.  The schooner was rocking, tossing us around in our bunks.  At 0645 (about five hours earlier than we would have gotten up on any given weekend) Zane woke us all up, and we all, still rubbing the sleep from our eyes, jumped into the chilly morning water while the sun was still rising.  And we loved it all. We set sail at 0750 from Norman Island for…

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