"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Farewell to the Caribbean

>> Saturday, April 4, 2009

Once again, the red carpet was rolled out for us upon our arrival to Guanaja, Honduras. Thanks to our new local friend, Antonio, we were able to spend much of our time underwater discovering the living reefs off the submarine Bonacca Ridge. In fact, the Bay Islands’ reefs sustain “99% of the hard coral, gorgonian and sponge species and 100% of the fish species found in the Caribbean.” It proved quite and idyllic location for our group to snorkel morning, noon and night peering in on the homes of squirrelfish, trumpetfish, fairy basslets, schoolmasters, French angelfish, blue tangs, stoplight parrot fish, yellow tailed damsel fish, Caribbean reef octopi, spiny lobster and spotted trunkfish. Plus, we also had the chance to get ashore and hike up to a heavenly waterfall on the north coast and roam the small alleyways of the overwater town built on stilts, Bonacca, on a small offshore cay.

Along our transit north, we were accopanied by pantropical spotted dolphins, by the wind sailors, skip jack tuna, wahoo, flying fish and a lone pigeon. Since our return to the states, we have been busy with midterms, four square tournaments, and a long kayak paddle through Florida mangroves located in Weedon Island Preserve. The 3, 700 acre preserve is situated along the western shores of Tampa Bay and supports a rich coastal system of mangrove forests, open mud flats, pine flatwoods and maritime hammocks. Walking and paddling we enjoyed our interactions with many of the local inhabitants such as the gopher tortoise; ospreys; leaping mullets; rays; little blue, great blue, and black crown night herons; egrets horseshoe crabs; and the native flora. Perhaps a side of Florida many people do not see. Our pictures from this latest expedition through the mangrove tunnels have been lost- shucks. However, at this point you will get to hear about it all from the student and crew over the up coming break.

Christine Honan (Head Educator)


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