The day was finally here- departure day. After one plane flight and a very long bus drive, we arrived at Big Falls, Belize, to spend the night before going to Lime Caye. I was so excited to meet the other students on the trip, and I immediately made great friends who are just as passionate about the environment as I am. I woke up the next morning excited to arrive at Lime Caye with my newfound friends. It took about two hours in a very bumpy boat ride to get to the tiny island, but it was worth it. I have never seen anything look so much like a tiny paradise.

When we arrived we met some very friendly faces who were to be our hosts and guides. Then we were shown to our rooms. The girls stayed in a dorm-like cabin with bunk beds… it was definitely on the rustic side. As soon as we put our bags down, we all ran to the ocean with our snorkels and gave them a try. After a brief swim, we had lunch and learned how to open a coconut. *cue Moana lyrics*

We stayed on Lime Caye for three days, and it was magical. We went on one or two snorkels a day to get accustomed to snorkeling, which I am glad for. I was nervous I was not a good enough swimmer before I left for Belize, but the guides were patient and my confidence slowly grew. I also greatly enjoyed learning how to identify different fish and coral.

On Lime Caye, we also broke into our research groups, and my group began our research. Other groups focused on fish behavior on the reefs, but my group researched wrack line pollution. It was extremely interesting to discover firsthand how plastic and styrofoam pollutes wrack lines. Later on in the trip, we continued this research.

My favorite experience on Lime Caye was a fishing trip. Six other girls went on the small boat with me, along with two of our guides, and all of us ended up catching huge barracudas! It was so fun and exciting, and we took our 7 barracudas, gave them to the kitchen, and later our whole class ate them for dinner.

Lime Caye was an excellent introduction to our Tropical Conservation class, and it was extremely fun and beautiful.