The Bahamas #4: Conch Research

Mia Goetzke ’24 and Emily Rice ’24 share the groups day learning about Conch and Coral bleaching with a surprise ice cream stop.

8:00am: We started our day off with a sleep-in and breakfast. There was an assortment of cereal to choose from, and a lot of everyone’s favorite, banana chips.

 9:15am: We gathered in the Octagon for a lesson on Conch. Following our trip to Conch Fest, we learned about how Conch are fished, their availability, and their effect on cultural and economic growth.

 9:40am: Our group then met at the ELC where we took lots of photos of the beautiful weather, and then headed to the boathouse to start our data collection. As a group, we measured 156 Conch to determine their lip thickness and relative age (juvenile, sub-adults, and adults). We also looked at our Conch Mitten to determine how long ago they had been harvested through the flakiness of their shell.

 12:00pm: We walked along the beach to a wonderful brunch set-up. There was an array of foods, from pancakes to chicken, and leftovers from the ‘best’ meals from the past week. Following brunch, Emily, Mia, and Melissa made their way to the kitchen to help out on dish crew. Good music was playing and there was a fun cheer after they cleaned several plates and bowls.

 1:15pm: Our team packed into the Island School van, yet again, to make their way to the beach where we had previously cleaned up trash. We were able to get in Spike Ball (shoutout to SP for teaching us the IMG backhand), hair braiding, and stingray shuffling in the ocean before thunder ensued, and we had to pack into the van for another time.

 2:30pm: We made a surprise pit stop at Sabrina’s Happy Shop for Ice Cream, where Bianka and Ian debated on their desired flavors for 20 minutes. The rest of us tried something new from the last time we were there, while Mr. Emerson searched for a Caribbean Music Playlist for added ambiance.

 4:00pm: After a long day of activities, we headed back to campus where we walked along the beach, and played cards in the Octagon with the whole group, hoping to hide from the rain.

6:00pm: Dinner!

 7:15pm: After many technical difficulties, we finally were able to settle down to watch the documentary, Chasing Coral where we learned about the recent coral bleaching problem around the world. Afterwards, we walked back to the dorm and got ready for bed, excited, but sad, for our last full day at the Island School to come.  

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