Day 11 – July 5, 2011
Sierra had another early morning with a 6:30 a.m. wake up call! Laurie and Graham planned a day packed to the max so we had to get up early to make sure that everything got accomplished. First up, we had a great day of community service with YEP! YEP stands for the Youth Empowerment Program and Sierra had a coral reef lesson planned for the kids. Each Sierra student prepared their own section on corals for the presentation. Chapman started with a lesson on coral anatomy. Tommy followed by speaking about coral reproduction and Meg finished the general coral information with coral reef distribution. Xanthe then stepped in and discussed coral propagation and conservation. The last two students to speak were Leslie and Maddy. Leslie discussed coral disease and Maddy told the students about common reef fish that would see on the reefs. Sierra did an amazing job! Leslie stood out with a natural ability to communicate with the students and seemed at ease while teaching and explaining the information as we went along.
After the lesson, we took the YEP students to our boat and motored over to Marina Cay for a short snorkel. Everyone was assigned a buddy to explore the reef with. Before we knew it, it was time to get the YEP students back to their base and lunch for Sierra. At 1:30 p.m., Sierra had a two tank dive planned. Laura picked up the group and they dove The Dogs. These dives were very important because it puts Sierra two dives closer to getting their Advanced Certifications!
The group returned to the boat at 5:30 p.m. for a quick dinner of pizza. They then were off again for their night dive. The water was a little chilly but the dark ocean was exhilarating! The reef they were accustomed to was asleep but the nocturnal animals were in full force. As Sierra returned to the boat at 9:00 p.m. everyone was exhausted. The students cleaned up with bucket showers, watched a short amount of Finding Nemo and then went to bed.