Arrive on San Salvador and check out your new home, a working research station. Close to the station there are beautiful mangrove channels, gorgeous beaches and vast seagrass beds just waiting to be explored. Grab your snorkeling gear and head to the beach for a glimpse beneath the surface. Colorful varieties of corals and countless fish greet you as you enter the water. During the first few days you begin learning to identify the reef fish and corals as you snorkel on the patch reefs near Telephone Pole Reef and the mangrove estuary at Pigeon Creek. Over a hundred species of fish are found in the waters surrounding San Salvador. Each has a unique body shape, coloration, behavior and habitat preferences and, as you get to know them, you start to understand why.
Now that you are familiar with the coral and fish, it’s time to get to know the other creatures of the sea. Explore the tide pools seeking marine invertebrates like shrimp, starfish and tubeworms that live in this remarkable transition zone. Back at the field station, dissect a fish and use the microscopes to watch the movements of tiny plankton and zooplankton, the foundation of all life in the oceans. Next, we prepare for our night snorkel. Discover the magic of bioluminescence and experience the marine world’s extraordinary nocturnal metamorphosis. Take a day to kick back and relax with a fun-filled afternoon of watersports. Of course, no visit to San Salvador is complete without a climb to the top of Dixon’s lighthouse for a magnificent view of the island. Investigate archaeological sites and the ruins of abandoned sugar, citrus and sisal plantations.
You’ve learned so much about marine life and the importance of the oceans. Now shift your focus to their protection. Take a skiff out to Green Cay to see rare rock iguanas scramble over the rocks while terns and frigates soar above. Bodysurf and play football at Grotto Beach, an idyllic spot surrounded by clear bright blue waters, and enjoy a bonfire on the beach. We spend our final night reflecting on how much you’ve learned and the great friends you’ve made this summer.