An "Austin" Time on Andros Island
Taylor Ramey - October 4, 2011
Twelve students from GHHS traveled to the Bahamas for marine biology
For the love of marine biology, 12 students took an adventure to Andros Island from June 10 to June 18. They stayed at a field station called Forfar and made many memories that will last for a lifetime.
Andros Island is the largest island of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is the fifth largest island in all of the Caribbean and is sparsely populated with only about 8,500 people living on it. The western coast of the island is unexplored and the island as a whole is undeveloped, which enhances the beauty and environmental uniqueness.
Nick Levitt, Alexis Mikanik, Tyler Lower, and Emma Haase shared insights about their experience on the island and what they thought about the trip.
“I loved the trip! It was a great experience!” said Alexis. “I wish I could go again!” adds Emma.
All of them agreed that the blue holes were one of their favorite memories because they were so “refreshing and clean.” “I liked hanging out on the beach with everyone during our free time. We all got to know each other and snorkeling was really fun!” said Emma. “I liked all of it! Except the mosquitoes…” said Tyler.
Andros is filled with reefs, different species of birds, fish, insects, and reptiles. It is directly next to the world’s third largest barrier reef and is laced with creeks and dense forested inland areas.
Forfar field station is a part of International Field Studies, which is a public non-profit scientific and educational organization. A group of interns stay on the island to teach students and other visitors about marine biology, archeology, oceanography, botany, tropical studies, and more.
“My favorite intern was Austin. He was very good at snorkeling! And he was decent on the eyes…” said Alexis. Tyler and Emma agreed that Mark and Kenzie were their favorite interns, saying, “They were really fun and we could relate to them. They were always doing stuff with us. Kenzie played Euchre and Mark would do cool tricks into the blue holes!”
The history of Andros includes Indians, European explorers, slaves, pirates, bootleggers, and smugglers. Captain Henry Morgan had his treasure caves there and the island was used for blockade running during Prohibition.
There is great history on the island and the inhabitants are extremely friendly and eager to share stories and views with guests.
“Mrs. Marshall lives on the island. She’s 104 years old!” said Emma. “Everyone that lived on the island was very poor, but they were the happiest people you’d ever meet,” adds Nick.
Andros is mostly English speaking and it is known for its beautiful basket weavings, carvings, batik fabrics, and sponging. Most people on the island live without many services, such as water, electricity, or a phone.
When asked if this trip impacted their lives in any way, all of them except Nick said yes. “Yes, it did impact me,” said Alexis, “it was a completely different change from our lifestyle. It really opened your eyes and everyone was so happy.”
“The island was so poor and it made us really appreciate things more. It also made me more relaxed about everything,” said Emma. “It changed my life!” adds Tyler, smiling.
“The island was full of beauty but I wasn’t really impacted at all,” said Nick. “I highly suggest going.”
Every night the 12 group members had a marine biology class at the field station with a test at the end of the week. “I liked the classes. They were very informative and helped us learn about marine life,” said Alexis, “They usually kept us entertained.”
The students learned a lot while down in the Caribbean. They all agreed that it was a wonderful experience and all wish they could go back again.
Copyright © The Word
- Grandview Heights High School - Journalism
Adviser - Mark Johnson - firstname.lastname@example.org