Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Academic Study Trip to Cuba

Over the break I was given the opportunity to travel down to Cuba for 11 days with 2 St. Mike's professors, 1 St. Mike's alumni (who is currently in grad school for Marine Biology) and 14 other students from St. Mike's. While we were down there we did researched on many of the coral reefs in the area with the help from marine biologists at the University of Havana and the university's Center for Marine Research, CIM.

Our first day was a little chaotic. We had problems checking in at the airport and then our flight to Toronto was delayed after we boarded the plane due to ice. We finally took off and ended up landing in Toronto 10 minutes before our flight to Havana was supposed to depart. Luckily for us that flight was also delayed but we made it. Everything seemed to get better once we were on the plane to Havana.
Che Guevara is still very popular down in Cuba and there were paintings of him or shirts and hats with his face on it everywhere you looked.

Drying out all of our gear between dives at one of our dive sites

While Cuba, we spent the first 3 days in Havana seeing some sights, meeting with the crew from CIM and then a quick dive to help get re-acclimated with the dive gear. After that, we went down to a little town called Playa Larga in the Bay of Pigs. We spent the rest of our time diving at different locations in the Bay of Pigs.

We found a litter of puppies that were once a few weeks old at one of our dive sights.
Some of the fishing boats in the Bay of Pigs. Fishing and motorboats are illegal in the bay so all these boats need to be paddled outside of the bay.
One of the sunrises over the Bay of Pigs that we got up early to see one morning.

After the 6 days in Playa Larga we went back to Havana for the last 2 days of our trip before heading back to the US.

This is one of the many old Chevy's that we saw on this trip.

The people down in Cuba are some of the nicest people that I have ever met and I can't wait for a chance to get back down there!

A group picture of the whole St. Mike's crew that I took on our last morning in Playa Larga when we all got up to watch the sunrise.

Me with our professor Patricia and our dive master Ivan
Some of the artwork that I saw in the market at Havana
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