Today’s update from Fiji was co-written by Owen and Patrick:
Today, after our return from Beqa and an early, Jaws-themed wake up call, we had a delectable breakfast. We went to the dive shop as usual but we all carried our slates to gather data for our shark research projects. The scene underwater was different than the others because the students were noticing more details (like ratios of male and female bull sharks feeding) and recording data on things such as aggressiveness, remoras, and feeding ratios. This dive also included students and tourists gawking at lots of sharks, striped sergeant majors, and other fish.
We spent our surface interval as usual, enjoying the mouth-watering tea and cookies. The second dive was similar to the first with the students collecting data about the Bull sharks specifically. This dive featured an odd worm like creature that would poke out of coral, quickly grab food, and then hide again. Several students found this the highlight of their dive and tried to figure out what it was the whole ride back, to no avail.
We returned home to our villa with our short relaxing time and organizing our laundry to be sent off. The students also compared and consolidated our data. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch of chicken stir fry and rice prepared by Va per usual. Next came our lesson of shark threats and worked on our journals for the aforementioned lesson. We learned some very interesting facts about recreational and commercial fishing and bycatch. Did you know that if we keep fishing at the same rate there will be no fish left by 2048? Other horrifying statistics like this shocked us all into a passionate journal writing frenzy. Next came the highlight of our day, going out to dinner! We took a quick taxi ride to Waters Edge at Art’s Village for a wonderful groups night out. We all enjoyed our burgers, pizza, and other assorted not so Fijian foods for the night. After finishing our meals all the students rushed to the ice cream cooler for a cold treat. We then returned home for a much needed movie and early nights sleep.