Well, the UNBSJ students have gone. They were a great group and it was a pleasure to have them on Bimini and to have the opportunity to show them so much. Despite some weather challenges, this group got to see so much of Bimini’s marine life and spent a lot of time observing dolphins! On the group’s last full day (7 May), they gave back to the island by completing a beach clean-up, just up the hill from the hotel they called home all week. It may be a small act, but it’s the least DCP’s educational groups can do. After lunch, we headed back on the boat – but this time, notebooks were put away (including mine!) and we all just soaked in Bimini’s ocean landscape one last time. Our first stop was Honeymoon Harbor and the students had a great time interacting with southern stingrays. Two nurse sharks even stopped by – and this group was thrilled about it!
Of course, although the students did not know it at the time, the nurse sharks were a warm up for our second stop – a nearby site to observe Caribbean reef sharks. Anytime you observe wild animals, you can never know what happened just before you arrive – but something had these sharks riled up! Our experienced captain made sure everyone was safe and the sharks made sure everyone got a good look at them. Both of today’s activities served as not only great first hand experiences, but give the students a chance to apply these experiences, and their experiences all week, to their evolving opinions on “ecotourism.” What do you think “ecotourism” really means?
We celebrated our last night with a cookout on the marina and a fairly early night – since the last day was an early departure for the students. A huge thank you goes to Dr. Turnbull, his fantastic TA and all the 2013 students. Can’t wait for next year’s group!