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The Gap Year Blog

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

9 Oct 2019 13:30 PM

I cant believe its been 5 weeks since I first step foot on Caye Caulker, Belize. Time flies when youre having fun and getting research done! These past weeks have been full of surveys for my data collection on Shark Ray and scuba diving.

The island life is so relaxing and laid back. The locals are kind and welcoming, and the food is amazing! Ive been trying some spicy foods and building up my spicy tolerance. The burrito stands on the corner streets have the best tasting burritos at prices that cant be beat! Im usually weary about trying new foods, but the food and spices here sit very well with my taste buds. My weekends here have consisted of organizing data, buying snacks, watching Netflix and taking naps. Its nice to shut off for a day or two and enjoy the relaxing island life.

I’ve been enjoying scuba diving a lot as I didnt dive much back home.  Diving has been a great brain-break from my thesis work. Theres just something about breathing underwater that is so relaxing and calming to the mind. So far, I’ve helped out on lionfish spotting, lobster surveys and coral disease spotting during dives. Im hoping to take the fish test so I can help out with fish transects in the near future! Im pretty good with my fish as we have the same species in Florida, but its nice to properly practice some fish ID while here.

These next 4 weeks Im hoping to get as much data as possible in Shark Ray. Weather is not supposed to be on our side, so perhaps I will get a lot of video review to catch up on instead.  We also may be able to visit some control sites this week - weather permitting.  We’re hoping to have a super productive upcoming week!

By Carlee Jackson, Frontier Belize Volunteer