Day 1


After a long day of traveling which began at 2:30 A.M., my classmates, teachers, and I arrived at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman and we were greeted with music, as well as sunny tropical weather. Of all the highlights of the day such as the drive to the hotel which helped me familiarize myself with other students on the trip and take a first look at the island, the greatest of them all was our afternoon snorkel. This snorkel brought about our first opportunity to immerse ourselves into the extremely diverse and exotic environment that we had talked about in all of our classes back on the Jesuit Dallas campus. Furthermore this first snorkel, provided a connection between the classroom and the field. I found myself using the skills we developed within the classroom to identify the many species of fish I encountered during this snorkel. My buddy Alex and I often noticed and pointed out to each other the different fish species we encountered during the snorkel. After we ascended to the surface, we used our previous knowledge of the diversity of the reefs surrounding Grand Cayman as well as our observaitions of the fish we had seen to determine the type of fish. For example, Alex and I saw a small fish which we recognized broadly as a butterfly fish. Both Alex and I had remembered, however, that there are different types of these butterfly fish. We remembered that a key characteristic in order to determine the different types of butterfly fish is the presence of a black spot on either side of the fishes back appearing as a ‘third and fourth eye’. We looked at this specific aspect of the fish because in the classroom, we were taught that in remembering notable characteristics of different types of fish, it is easier to recognize and determine a fish’s specific type. Thus, because of the key characteristic of ‘eyes’ on the butterfly fish, Alex and I were able to recognize that butterfly fish as a four-eye butterfly fish. In addition to the butterfly fish, Alex and I were able to recognize a great diversity of species such as sergeant majors, french grunts, blue-headed wrasses, and parrotfish. Although this first snorkel was amazing, I am looking forward to increase my knowledge and perception of the reef environment of Grand Cayman in our first scuba dive tomorrow morning.

Till Tomorrow,

Ben Levis