It is not everyday that Catawba students get to become one with the aquatic life and receive a chance to explore the reefs of an exotic location. However, a scuba trip to Bonaire, sponsored by the Environmental Science and Biology departments and guided by Dr. Lowry and Dr. Poston, gave students studying in these fields, a chance to learn and explore more of the ocean. The school scuba trip is an every other year affair. During the 2018 winter break seniors and juniors piled into a plane and spent a portion of the winterbreak underwater. But first the trip began with each participating student attending diving classes at the training facility, Open Water Adventures, in Charlotte. After their training was complete and finals were finished, it was time for their educational vacation.
The group of students arrived in Bonaire on December 15, and spent almost everyday scuba diving until December 22. “It was really a wild adventure,” says George Mitchell Harris, a junior chemistry major, and one of the students who spent the winter break in the waters of the tropics. “Even though it isn’t exactly my major it’s something I would love to continue to do as I age. Hunter and Caleb (other students involved) just couldn’t keep up with me in the water. I was moving so fast.” For Mitch and the other students, exploring the reefs and seeing the wildlife up close and personal was the highlight of their trip. The land itself however, also held some amazing experiences for the students. “One of the best parts was for sure relaxing at local restaurants with my professors and friends,” says sophomore, Caleb Jarrard. Caleb was dumbfounded by the amount of fun he experienced out of the water as well. “Giving up some time out of my winter break to explore the ocean and enjoy the tropical weather was 100 percent worth it.” Although these students won’t have an opportunity to go again before they graduate, they can appreciate the adventure and knowledge they gained while scuba diving in the deep blue sea.