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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week one in Punta Gruesa!

I have made many complicated decisions in my life; however, coming to Punta Gruesa as a six-month intern has been a more eye-opening experience than I could have ever imagined and it's still the first week of being here! Who knows if its still the honeymoon period of my underwater adventure but thus far it has been exciting, challenging, demanding and fun.

I am sure there will be ups and downs throughout the course of the internship but that is as natural as the change in the ocean's tide. Punta Gruesa is located on a desolate beach, just south of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere where the Meso-American Barrier Reef is the welcome mat to our scuba research and education. The center looks directly onto the aquamarine blues and greens of the Caribbean. Sometimes I can't even distinguish the sea from the ocean, the colors melt together along the horizon.

Every morning starts bright and early, at 6:00am. The entire unit of volunteers is divided into groups and we take care of the mundane aspects of running a functional research and educational center. Before one can even realize it, it is time to dive. Today was my deep dive in a location known as Las Gorditas. As I descended from the surface the sun began to slowly fade and the ocean floor became clear. It was a pristine underwater wonderland. A sandy bottom carved through massive walls of corals and enormous sponges lined the coral walls in every color. Parrotfish were everywhere and a small group of Porkfish moved in and out of crevasses seemingly undisturbed by our presence. All of a sudden I realized I was at 90 feet below the sea. It was a fascinating experience. That was just one of many dives- each one better than the last. I can't begin the describe the potential this program has in the context of my future. It is a drastic change from my political economic studies in university and I am glad I am finally taking a risk to follow a path that is on the opposite spectrum of my broad interests. So far...I've found...It Works If You Work It!

Punta Gruesa
Nathan Connors



Sue R said...

Wonderful insight - keep up the good work...