Leaving came so suddenly… we packed up the dorms in one whirlwind afternoon and then before we knew it, we were crammed onto that tiny plane waving goodbye to the lecturers as we left our little island paradise. We learnt, saw and did so much, and living there has inspired us in many different ways – whether it’s to save the reefs, cut down on plastic or even just to eat more salad!
Moving forward, we’ll wear our Cape Eleuthera shirts with pride and I’m sure will be full of anecdotes about that time we were living our best lives in the Bahamas! Here are some of our favourite moments:
“The field course as a whole was incredible so it’s hard to say which part was my favourite. A moment that stood out to me was the ray day where we were lucky enough to catch a whiptail within the first half an hour of being there!”
– Lauren Terry @leterry12
“It’s painful to admit to actually (vertebrates, urgh…), but I really enjoyed our seaturtle day!! I’ve worked with cool but monstrous leatherbacks before, but these little green turtles were really cute, and it was an amazing opportunity to get so close to them.
Just don’t tell anyone else I’m a closet turtle fan or my reputation will be ruined!”
– Alex Hayward
“A memorable moment for me was on our first proper day on the island. We had been set a geocaching treasure hunt task in order to become more acquainted with where everything was located. Along the way we saw a couple of Bahamian men driving along with coconuts on the back of their trailer. This sparked the idea of getting hold of our own coconuts and we asked them where we could get some.
The guys jumped out of their vehicle smiling and without hesitation started cutting open the coconuts for us to have. This was really our first experience of the island people and it set the tone for the rest of the trip!”
– Grace Halliday @malibugracey
“My favourite moment was chasing and catching this little buddy. Watching a sea turtle swimming right in front of your eyes in crystal clear water is an experience that few people will ever have and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The truly unforgettable moment was hearing cheers from my friends when I held the turtle out of the water after catching it.”
– YinLing Tan
“I think my favourite moment was when we were left with no turtle experts or equipment, and yet all decided to go chase them anyway… It was a long shot but we got close enough to touch the creatures! I loved how upbeat everyone was, even stranded on a beach in the rain.”
– Emily Owen
“My favourite moment was either Dan / Andrew’s birthday cake moment in the dive house (a great end to a good day despite the dive getting cancelled!), or perhaps more sensibly, when Hannah tagged the lemon shark in the creek!!”
– Lucy Hawkes
Close encounters with the wildlife will be a treasured memory for all of us. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get so hands-on with such a range of animals – not only did we admire the creatures from afar, we genuinely felt that we were contributing to the understanding of the species. A huge thanks to Lucy, Alex, Molly and Ethan for making this all happen, and to Casey at CEI for helping things run smoothly. Until next time, Eleuthera!