One week ago, eight of our students and two teachers from Newton-Conover High School and Discovery High School departed on their trip to the Commonwealth of Dominica to assist with collecting data for scientific research. Read below their accounts of their experiences so far:
“Dominica is a truly spectacular place. Never have I witnessed such a breathtaking, natural place. I have traveled to many of the great Caribbean islands in and around the West Indies but have never been graced to truly explore a land so beautiful. The island, full of wonderful people, fantastic food, and untouched nature is truly unparalleled to anywhere else I have experienced.
Yesterday began the second week of our Dominica trip. After spending one week at Springfield Plantation, a biological research center equipped with laboratories and lecture rooms, everyone was able to experience science in a real world way. Aided by PhDs from across Europe, the West Indies (Trinidad) and America, we had the opportunity to venture into different allies of practical research. The opportunity was arguably life changing for everyone because it gave them the realization of what they may or may not want to study in the realms of practical science.
Early yesterday at approximately 8:15 AM, we left that center and embarked on a catamaran trip into the ocean where we had the opportunity of a lifetime to watch sperm whales in their natural habitat. In total, we saw upwards to eleven whales free in the ocean. At one point, we even saw four whales in a pod together within arm’s length from our boat. All of the natives and regulars to the whale watching community reiterated how truly unique that experience was. That was a sighting people spend years and countless dollars trying to experience. Ever since I was little, a spotting like this has been a dream to me. The rest of the week will be devoted to marine studies, snorkeling, scuba diving, and much more. Groups have been split up by their specific orientations with several hospitable, friendly marine biology experts.
The opportunities given to me from Operation Wallacea and the wonderful staff of NCHS, have been absolutely life changing. I am forever grateful to be spending this trip with such a great group of people that I truly have grown to cherish and love. They have all been great and also very comforting during the hard times I have been going through due to the death of my beloved friend, counselor, teacher, mentor, and colleague, the wonderful: Ms. Maggie Daniels. Again, I must thank all of you parents and guardians for allowing your children to embark on this truly life changing experience at the unique, nature island of Dominica.”
Discovery High School
“All is well here on this beautiful island nation of Dominica and we are enjoying the beautiful weather! Yesterday my group went lizard hunting on some of the beaches around the island and up through part of the rainforest! Only caught 13 but hey, that’s more than we would have caught at home! In the rainforest, we found a mineral spring! The water was about 98 degrees and felt absolutely awesome! Finally found where all of our hot water went! For those of you who don’t know yet, the showers here only have 2 options… Cold and colder. Went to the southern most tip of the island and walked around! There was a wonderful view of the island and we also got to see where the Caribbean Sea met the Atlantic Ocean! The Caribbean Sea feels great; especially after the long walks through the forest! We spent about an hour swimming! Last night, my group went bat hunting around the center we are staying at! We caught about 15 of them, and I’m proud to report that none of us were injured by the falling coconuts and mangos. We are going canyoning in a few so pictures and videos will be up soon!
Have a great day!”
President-NCHS KEY Club