My Mid-Semester Trip!

After a VERY busy Monday & Tuesday, the time came for me to fly out to the US Virgin Islands. What had been a pretty secretive trip in the beginning, quickly became something worth sharing with friends, classmates and professors. You see, it wasn’t a vacation: it was a terrific opportunity to participate in the opening of a museum! (But I did make time for the other fun stuff!)

I’m in the Curation and Gallery Coordination class on the Catonsville campus, so when asked if I wanted to be a part of a museum opening, my answer was immediately yes! I’ve been volunteering at an environmental camp during the summer that my father runs since I was 11, so as the years have gone by and my studies have changed there’s always been a way to use my newly learned skills. You really have to be versatile and flexible on the secluded side of a small island!

The Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station, located within the National Park on St. John, USVI, became my home from Wednesday to Monday. The shortness of the trip doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to do anything though! While most run on Island Time, I was still firing all cylinders, getting as much done as quickly as possible.We had a museum opening to prepare for and it was all thanks to Project Tektite.

Project Tektite was an underwater habitat and research project which was conducted in 1969 and 1970.  The experiment not only provided opportunities for marine research, particularly on the behavior and ecology of reef fauna and reef sedimentology, but also provided data for a variety of behavioral, biomedical and engineering studies. With the 45th anniversary of Project Tektite celebration scheduled for Saturday, much needed to be done. Four of the scientists who lived underwater during the Tektite missions, also known as the Aquanauts, traveled from across the country to attend, so the pressure was on!

Over the course of my days, I hung pictures, filled display cases, entertained Aquanauts and even spent time snorkeling the site where the Tektite habitat had been placed. There was even some time to hike and relax on the beach! One of the most important things for my mental health was the time I spent laying on the dock, looking up at the stars. I felt like I could melt into the water and just become a part of the ocean forever. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep the memories of the ocean breeze when finals roll around in order to keep calm!

Enough of the blabbering on! Here’s a VERY small amount of photos taken last week! Enjoy and let me know what you think! Please check out the VIERS website for information about volunteering, eco-tourism and Project Tektite!

The Aquanauts! These brave men lived under water, undergoing tremendous strain in order to further scientific research

Working on a display case in the museum!

The site where the Tektite habitat was submerged.

Getting some much needed relaxation time in back at camp!

Doing what I do best! Taking some photos! One of the Aquanauts and I hiked and climbed over many feet of rocks to get to the very tip of Yawzi Point in order to get the best shots!

Little Lameshur Bay, a quiet and secluded beach close to the camp. A quick walk and you’re in the clear blue water!

Toes in the rocky part of Lameshur Bay. The warm water was just what my feet needed after some hiking!

Greater Lameshur Bay is home to the research lab and many tourists have decided to come and use the calm bay as a mooring spot.

5,000 photos later and a couple full memory cards, getting to take my passion with me is the greatest gift I could ever ask for. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime!

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY PHOTOS WITHOUT PERMISSION! With the exception of the photographs of me, which were taken by my mother, these are taken by me for my personal use. If you would like a copy, please ask! Thank you!

One Response

  1. Hope Says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing the photos.

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