In my last blog post, I talked about how Joellen, Camden and their new friend Townes schmoozed their way into getting us a tour at a marine research school up the road here in Cape Eleuthera. With the invite to the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI), Townes and his parents on S/V Dawn Patrol decided to stay an extra day. We all headed to the institute and were beyond impressed by the entire operation.The Mission Statement for the Cape Eleuthera Institute is: To promote the conservation of the tropical marine and coastal ecosystems of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, and the greater Caribbean by facilitating the research of resident and visiting scientists, supporting the education of students at all levels, and promoting outreach efforts to enhance the conservation awareness of local and global communities. Here is a short You Tube Video that explains CEI.
We were graciously given a two hour tour of CEI by Alex Cook who grew up in Lancaster, Ohio, not far from my hometown Marietta. We told Joellen, Camden and Townes that this would count as homeschool for the day if they participated and asked questions. Well, we did not have to prompt the kids at all. They peppered Alex with lots of questions. We learned all about the school’s research initiatives and their focus on sustainable living. I’ve never seen so many solar panels in my life. The school even produces its own biodiesel from vegetable oil waste from cruise ships and restaurants. They grow a garden that is big enough to feed vegetables to all the students and staff at the dining hall. Here are some of the photos we took during out visit.
Underneath the Cape Eleuthera Institute, there are several umbrellas. There are of course researchers, grad students, but the most interesting to me is the high school program. The high school program is called The Island School and is a 100 day semester for high school students. Each semester over 700 students apply and only 50 are admitted. Here is a You Tube trailer of The Island School.
Each afternoon when the high school students are done with school and are on free time, many of them bike down to the marina and the beaches here by our boat. They ride right past our boat and stop and talk to us. Yesterday we met Cole, a young man from Rhode Island who told us that when he was seven years old, he lived aboard a sailboat with his family in the Bahamas. Cole told Joellen and Camden that he hopes one day Joellen and Camden will be students at The Island School. Marc and I met quite a few of the staff at The Island School and we had three of them over to the boat one morning. Marc and my wheels started turning, dreaming about the future and possibly working for a year at The Island School when Joellen and Camden are teenagers and they could attend the school. You never know.
Update: Marc and Camden had a successful day today aboard fishing boat Hope. The folks on Hope were so kind to invite Cam out for the day with them. Camden plans to write a blog post very soon about his fun day.
We are indeed leaving Eleuthera tomorrow. We will sail to Black Point settlement in the Exumas. It should take us 7 to 8 hours to get there. Hoping to reel in a fish along the way.