Time Abroad: Fall 2007
Major: Political Science
During our fifth week, we spent the majority of our time on a camping trip visiting various nationally protected areas and tourist sites. We spent two nights in Cabo Pulmo, which is a very small town centered around eco-tourism on a minimal scale. Our campsite was in an absolutely beautiful location right on the beach. Some of us spent the night outside because it was so breathtaking to see all the stars and hear the ocean while going to sleep. We spent two of the days snorkeling near the coast in national protected areas that held an amazingly abundant array of fish and invertebrates. Swimming amongst vast expanses of coral, we saw a colorful collection of different shapes and sizes of exotic fish. The highlight of the snorkeling for me was swimming with moray eels. I was off by myself, snorkeling with the rest of the students that were not sick (the majority of the students caught a nasty stomach bug, unfortunately), when I spotted an eel swimming underneath me only a few meters away. Curious, I decided to follow the sea creature until it disappeared underneath the coral. I stopped swimming, trying to locate where the elusive eel had gone when another one swam out from the coral. I began to slowly chase the eel when two more eels joined the first. After watching the eels interact with themselves and their ecosystem for a while I headed in. I was absolutely blown away by the grace and ease with which they moved throughout the sharp coral. We also managed to spot a sea turtle and a small spotted manta ray. This was my first time snorkeling in the ocean and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I'm absolutely stoked to see what will happen on the next camping trip!