As usual we woke up at 7AM to have a nice and delicious breakfast cooked by volunteers at VIERS. Then we had a relaxing yoga during which we learned from Mrs. D’Agostino the importance of breathing. On the meeting after yoga we were given the cards with some of the fish kinds that were very diverse. Today was the first day our group have visited the Marine lab right at the shore. We collected various types of St. John inhabitants, including the lionfish, black and red sea urchins, and fire worms! Tony, a man from VIERS talked about each creature separately; he told us that ocean species from the same group usually have something in common. For instance, we compared starfish and sea cucumber, looked for similarities between them and considered them not connected. After that Tony walked us through the laboratory, and explained how everything works there.
For lunch we came prepared for the departure to snorkel near the mangroves, year-long green trees with long roots growing in the salt water. To get there we took a safari taxi, an open van where we all could fit. Snorkeling along the mangroves was a unique opportunity; some of us have even seen barracudas. Our next stop was at the beach, where we also observed the diversity of ocean inhabitants.
For dinner we went to a restaurant, where we had burgers and homemade ice cream. As soon as we finished, we went shopping in local souvenir shops.
All in all, today we focused on the diversity of marine inhabitants and could observe this variety in person.
~Kate Tatarkina & Anna Narzibekova