11.9.15 Day Two: Aquarius Teacher Under the Sea- Amy

Those of you who know me know that I absolutely abhor technology because of its constant failure.  I just lost a nearly completed blog, and I’m already ridiculously exhausted, so you’ll have to excuse mistakes and general “loopiness” (Though I am WAYYY more annoyed now than loopy.  As I type this sentence, my cursor keeps taking itself to other places).

Anyway…   Today was one of the best days of my life but also one of the longest.  We started with a meeting at shore base at 7 AM, where we got our orders for the day. Then, we boarded the Sabina and embarked on our adventure, which began with our engine dying, leaving us dead in the water in the channel.  Some great work by Roger, Otto, Tom, and Shawn put us back in business, but we had to return to dock to REALLY fix the engine.   The science team took advantage of that time to more fully explain our daily tasks and to educate us on banana superstitions (*Note, in the blog that my computer decided to erase, I typed out the whole story, and it’s fun, but now I’m too tired and can’t see straight.  Sorry.  Maybe some other time I’ll tell you).

After a short time, we were back on the boat and heading out.  Melissa and I got to do the first dive with Roger, Laura, and Alain into Aquarius.  I can’t even begin to express what I was feeling.  As we descended on the habitat, a living reef, I couldn’t get over how much life was on and around it.  I also saw the biggest, meatiest barracudas I’ve ever seen in my life.  We dove down to the “wet porch”, where we stood with our heads out of water to remove and store our gear.  From there, it was into the habitat to shower off the saltwater and tour the facility.  Alain did the first virtual field trip, and it was in Spanish, so I have no idea what he said, but Melissa did the second one to her own class, and it was pretty cool.  I basically couldn’t rip myself away from the window.  What a view!

When our time was up, we headed back out and swam around a little bit before surfacing.  The next few hours were spent on the boat.  Andrea and Hillary got their chance to go down to Aquarius.  Around 4:00, Melissa and I got to dive with scientists to help them collect tiles and cameras.  At the end of the dive, during our safety stop, five absolutely beautiful spotted eagle rays came gliding by.  They are my favorite sea creatures and up until today, they have eluded me.  I can’t say that I didn’t tear up in my mask.  It was breathtaking for sure, and it allowed me to cross off another bucket list item!

We returned back at the dock at 6 PM and needed to be back to shore base at 7 for another meeting and then data collection with the scientists.  We basically shoveled in some food, rinsed off, and headed back over.  I know I wasn’t alone in nodding off and feeling overwhelmed.  And now I’m in bed bloggingl  And since I just fell asleep for a few minutes, I think it’s time to sign off.  So here’s to one of the greatest days of my life!

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