Last Marine Biology 2012 Post


Our last day was filled with service and sun. For our community service, we went to a wall that was located near the highway of Virgin Gorda and painted. We tidied up murals that had been painted long before we had arrived and painted our own mural for Virgin Gorda to remember us by. Although it was community service, our teachers, Mr. Kirby, Doctor Gruninger, and Mr. Nevitt, as well as Laura and Casey made it fun with the energy and openness with which they embraced the service. Later, we hit the Guavaberry beach for some sun and frisbee. We had a friendly competition going in which I triumphed over Doctor Gruninger, beating him to the frisbee several times. Relaxing on the beach was soothing following a wonderful week. After a melancholy boat ride from Virgin Gorda to Tortola we all knew that our Marine Biology course had come to an end. We made the short walk to the airport on Tortola in a light rain that seemed to be asking us to stay for a little while longer. Upon arriving at the San Juan airport we had no idea what lay ahead. Our flight was delayed nine hours, bringing our total time spent in the San Juan airport to about twelve hours. However after an amazing week we remained optimistic about getting home. We finally arrived back in Dallas at 12:45 AM and met with our parents and said our goodbyes, returning to our long awaited air conditioned rooms and familiar beds. I can confidently say that I will remember this trip for the rest of my life. In addition to learning all about marine biology, our class grew as a family with each other and with the dive staff, so much so that it was as if we were leaving a part of ourselves back in Virgin Gorda, both in spirit and physically with our Jesuit reef. The dive staff was extraordinarily caring and they were always ready for anything that could face them with a group of nineteen young men. My most fond memory of the trip was diving the chimney, a diverse marine structure that I will always remember. Although Christian Koeijmans’ tank fell off, and Jeff Melsheimer bashed his head on my tank, the most memorable part was the realization that we had become capable divers after we managed to get around these small obstacles through the constant help of our instructor Casey and the rest of the dive staff, Jeff, Brian, and Laura. I hope I can return to Virgin Gorda and see the progress our reef has made as well as reunite with the dive staff that I have grown so close to. Thank you so much Casey, Jeff, Laura, and Brian for helping make it an unforgettable week, from the big stuff such as diving with us, to the little stuff such as picking out wetsuits and regulators, you all were always ready and willing to help us any way you could, and I had a truly great time.

Photocred: Chris Wengierski