SaintJoe H2O

I woke up early and went to meet everyone at the library. Once we got our passports and tickets we all headed to the airport. We took a flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  Once there we all we out to eat and I had a Mahi-Mahi sandwich and tried some oyster, steamed clam, and calamari.  I think out of those 3 I will only have the calamari again.  Then we got our rooms and got the information for the plane trip to Andros.  We had the rest of the night to ourselves and I went swimming and hung out in some people’s rooms.

On the 23rd of March and we are setting off to the Bahamas.  I was on the first flight that was supposed to leave around 9:30 then it got moved to 9:00 that morning but we ended up waiting in the airport till 12ish.  About 7 minutes after we left for the airport Maddy realized that she forgot her passport and we had to turn around.  Once we finally got to the plane it was an 8 passenger plane and we put our luggage into the front of the plane and since I was the heaviest one on our plane I got to be co-pilot.  Once we got to Andros we went to ForFar (which is a field station and we ate lunch. Some of us went snorkeling and I saw some small juvenile fish and a dead baby reef shark.  We also went to a gift shop and bought some souvenirs.  After everyone arrived we went to the docks and found our boats.

On Sunday we were supposed to set sail but it was too windy so we snorkeled at a small beach next to the boats where Shelby Mills brought over a starfish and everybody (but Rylee) got to look at it.  Then everyone went over to a bigger beach and we saw a lot more starfish and some fish.  But I didn’t really snorkel I mostly just looked at the starfish.  Fortunately we were able to go snorkeling at a reef just off the island. There I saw a lot of blue tang, bluehead wrasse, stoplight parrotfish, and some squirrelfish and a harlequin bass.  Also I saw a foureye butterflyfish, the only one on the whole trip.  Then we went to a mangrove snorkel where I saw a lot of gray snapper, some sergeant majors and a few small mouth grunts.  I was very sad that I didn’t see any sea horses. But I was surprised to see some upside down jellyfish which stung us but luckily they didn’t hurt for long.  We went back to the boat showered and hung out at the docks for the rest of the day.

            Monday finally rolled around and we set sail!  My boat was the first to leave and we quickly lost everyone over the horizon.  It was a 14 hour sailing trip to the exumas and the captain of my boat (Harvey) but our 2 fishing lines about an hour after we left.  There isn’t much to say about this day because I slept and sat around.  A few hours after the lines were set and just as I was falling asleep we caught something.  I reeled in a male Mahi-Mahi and the others helped reel in a female Mahi-Mahi.  Zach and I had to skin the fish and filleted the fish. That was pretty much the whole day until we anchored at a key. There we ate dinner and watched the sun set.

On Tuesday everyone is excited because it will be our first day to actually snorkel on some reefs.  Zach and I had to help Harvey pull in the anchor and raise the sail.  Then we were off.  We left the Key and instead of sailing to Thunderball we went to a snorkel spot right next to Johnny Depp’s island.  When we arrived a few hours later my boat snorkeled at an abandoned plane where the current was really strong.  But it was worth it because before we got into the water I spotted a sea turtle that a few people followed when they went into the water, but when I got in I instantly saw the plane and some small fish around it.  Then Zack pointed and I saw my first Barracuda.  It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.  I also saw a gray angelfish and that was only one of two I saw on the entire trip.  The good thing about that area was that there was a lot of coral.  Then we went to the Garden where it was amazing there were so many fish I couldn’t believe it.  They let you get really close to them and there was also a lot of coral.  I even saw a Christmas tree annelid. 

The 27th rolled around and this week is flying by.  We finally made it to Thunderball today.  Thunderball is a cave that has a hole in the top.  It was very crowded and I saw a few people step on coral.  When I started to swim into the cave there was a lot of coral just outside the entrance.  And I saw mostly sergeant majors, but I also saw a blue parrotfish, some juvenile redbanded parrotfish, a few squirrelfish, and luckily a yellowhead wrasse.  But I also saw some Spanish hogfish, schoolmaster, and a Nassau grouper.  I saw the whole cave in a short time and so went outside the cave and found a lot of fish and coral.  I even saw another goldspot goby.  After the snorkel we took a joy bath and got ready to go on the island where we visited a grocery store and touched nurse sharks and stingrays.  We were going to eat there but it was getting dark so we had to get back to our boats while we could still see them.

This week has gone by way to fast.  It is Thursday and we had one more snorkel left.  We went to a new spot that Harvey hasn’t snorkeled at yet and it was great.  But it wasn’t the snorkel that didn’t make it so great.  The only interesting thing about the snorkel itself was that I saw a huge Barracuda (its head was so big that it looked fake, also there was a huge head of Elkhorn coral and some coral I hadn’t seen yet.  But what I liked about it was when we all swam to the beach and started collecting sponges and corals, and shells but the sad part was the captains said we had put everything back.  But it was great because everyone was finding so pretty cool stuff.  After that everyone swam back to the boat and we set sail and made it to a small Key were we spent the night.

Early the next morning around 6 o’clock Zack and I woke up to help Harvey unhook from the mooring ball we were anchored to.  We were a mile out of the Key when Chuck called and said he needed gas so we had to turn around and give some to him.  Even though we had to turn around we were still in the lead by a few hours.  There are no more snorkels and we are on our way back to Andros.  It was mostly boring just sitting around the boat but when we were coming up on Andros we saw a submarine and when we arrived at Fresh Creek we saw a dolphin and a wedding.  Then because we had arrived so early we were able to go to Androsia and I bought some stuff.  Then we cleaned the boat.  Mrs. Nash cleaned the bathroom while Zack and I washed the mats and everyone else vacuumed the boat.  After that everyone else arrived and cleaned their boats and took showers.  Some even saw a stingray jump out of the water.  When everyone was finally ready we walked to Hanks Place and had dinner. I had conch and was supposed to have conch fritters but the cook put all the orders of them on a big platter and so the people that didn’t order them got some and some of the people that did didn’t get any. But it was an ok night and after we got back to the boats we played Bull Shark. 

It is time to leave the Bahamas.  I will miss it and hope to come back one day.  I woke up early and did my final packing and carried it over to the cars.  Then I went back to the boat and we all gave Harvey 10 dollars as a tip.  It wasn’t long before we went to ForFar and hung out there.  Some of us played volleyball but then we went to the gift shops again and I bought a necklace.  Then I went back to the field station and waited to leave.  I was on the first flight and soon was back into the U.S. we went through customs and then off to the airport to go home.  After a few hours of eating and playing cards we boarded and few home.  We landed and then got our luggage and then we were off back to our normal lives.  It was a great trip and I enjoyed it very much!

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