After a Bermudiful day here on the island, I am thrilled to tell you all about the incredible challenge that many of our cadets conquered today. We jumped off a thirty foot high cliff into the edge of the Atlantic Ocean! Cohort B went this morning and Cohort A went this afternoon. On each groups’ break period, the students cranked through their field guides since they are due on Saturday evening!
Taking the BIOS bus to Admiralty House Park in Hamilton where Dready took us on a hike up and down a few short, but steep, hills. We crossed a beautiful small beach where we were able to snorkel and relax for a few hours, but not until we climbed up to the cliffs that we were told to fling ourselves off of...for fun! You can tell I was one of the cadets who was very hesitant to jump off this high rock, but I did it! Although it felt like I was falling for far too long, many cadets very so excited about the adrenaline that powered them during the jump. Many cadets jumped time and time again, climbing up the rock face and through coastal tunnels to get back up to the top of the cliff. It was a beautiful coast, crystal clear water, and a few sea pudding hanging out below which gave me the motivation to get off the cliff (They are SUPER cute)! Even Dr. Burton took the jump with us! I am so proud of the students that conquered their fear of heights today at the cliff jump.
After we jumped off the terribly high and scary cliff (do not judge me, I love being in control and that jump took all the control away from me for a few seconds!), we traveled over to the beach where we jumped into the water to explore and help clean up any debris that we could find. Cohort B was able to collect over thirty whole pounds of anthropogenic (human) debris from this small beach! Cohort A was able to spot a juvenile green sea turtle and even an octopus, so I would say it was a very successful day for enjoying the island without stressing about school work.
Arriving back at BIOS, we set the kids into their research groups to work as hard as they can to complete their field guides. It is such a hard project, so we helped to make sure all the projects were organized and outlined before the students dug too far in. We are so excited to see how these projects come out tomorrow night!
This evening, the students received a lecture from Dr. Burton about the geology of Bermuda. The scientific literature currently is debating how Bermuda was actually formed. One group says that the ancient volcano came from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (where new land is formed) where it migrated westward. Another group believes the volcano came from a plume hotspot (magma at higher levels in the Earth’s crust) in the middle of the continental plate. And the last group, which is most popular, believes that the volcano was land debris left over from the migration of Pangea WAYYYY back in the day. When the volcano went extinct, the land started to subside, or sink, in the center. Around the outside, barrier reefs and fringing reefs began to form, eventually creating a pseudo-atoll. It is not a complete atoll, or a ring-shaped reef, because half of the ring remains underwater. With the rising sea levels, Bermuda’s land mass is slowly decreasing! The last educational lecture of the learning experience was such a success, thank you, Dr. B!
Tomorrow, the weather is looking very iffy with high winds and rain. The students will of course have time to work on their field guide after an action-packed trip. The rates and I will also be giving presentation on our histories and our career goals. I remember that when I was a freshmen, these rate presentations resonated very strongly with me! We are all looking forward to our last day on the island, but it certainly is bittersweet.