Class, Science, and Snorkeling

June 20, 2024

Author: Caitlin Niiya, Pitzer College

Moorea

Today we all woke up early for breakfast. After breakfast, we all got ready for a morning
swim and snorkeling. A huge shout out to Holly for driving us in Big Bertha to Plage de
Temae, where we were able to see lots of reef fish, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, and
even a sea turtle! This wasn’t my first time snorkeling, but the water clarity was more
transparent then what I’m used to. We did some scientific reporting on the beach,
packed our bags, and headed to a scenic lookout overlooking the ocean. The water
surrounding Mo’orea was crystal blue, and I think it is amazing that I have an
opportunity to see French Polynesia from both a student and outsider perspective. After
our morning activity, we had a short class in preparation for our group projects when
we’re at sea. The rest of the day was divided into free time, eating, and studying for our
final exam in our Oceans and Global Change class, which marks the last of our shore
component in Mo’orea.

The past week has been so surreal. I’ve been waking up before 0700 everyday, trying
different fruits and foods, jumping off the boat dock, having seven hour class days,
interacting with the local people, and most of all bonding with the other students and
staff. I’m excited to board the Seamans and I can’t wait to watch the sunrise during
dawn watch, but I feel grateful for the time I’ve spent here on Mo’orea and the memories
I’ve made.

To mom and dad, thank you for helping me make this adventure happen. I am beyond
grateful. And to our Fantastic 4 family, I love you all and can’t wait to see you in about a
month! さようなら(goodbye)!

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