Monday, June 11, 2012

AT THE GRC

Wednesday morning, we got a taxi to the airport in Nassau and caught our Bahamasair flight to San Salvador Island (just about an hour because they didn't stop at Deadman's Cay first - so I didn't get to see any pirates!).  From the window the the smaller plan, one could see beautiful reefs and waters of turquoise, teal, cerulean, ultramarine blue and indigo.  I love this flight - you are only in the plane about an hour and you get to see the islands and reefs as you fly over.

We arrived in San Salvador and the new (since 2007) Director for the Gerace Research Center (GRC) met us with a large blue truck (open except for the cab) where we loaded all our stuff in the back, sat in the back on bench seats (wooden), and got our first taste of San Sal as we drove to the center.  We flew over with another university group of 14 students and one professor and they, too, were with us although 5 students did not get their luggage :(

We were given our room assignments - we got lucky room number 7.  I'll let you decide how lucky it was:



The Research Center used to be an old Navy base for men stationed on the island.  When I say old, I mean probably 1950's  - and the rooms have not been upgraded since then.  I think the furniture may even be the same!  And the buildings are all white block buildings that hold the heat of the day well into the night.

Notice the lights coming through the curtains?  That's where they are worn through.  We paid $10 a day extra to have the air conditioner installed in our room which you can see in the window.



The shower. 
I kept my sandals on when I showered - I was not going to stand in there barefoot!
The brown thing to the left in the shower floor?  That's a large American cockroach that was not going to move out.  I asked Jerry to kill the thing before we turned in for the night.  Not to worry, there were others throughout the week that came and went :(  I can't say I got used to them but I was told they would not get in our luggage and travel back to the US with us (I hope that's true).









The toilet. 
The floor was concrete  and there were pipes running all around. 




Quite a change from Sandyport Resort. 
I was grateful for the air conditioning which took the room temperature down enough to sleep at night.  I even liked the little gecko that stayed in our room (about 2 inches long which I named Gertie). 


This was my home away from home from Wednesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 7.

This trip was taken so Jerry could do follow-up research on a new species of cave brittle star.  He went out with 3 people Thursday morning (May 31) and they couldn't cut their way through the brush to even find the cave - the ground cover and trees were so overgrown the path was nonexistent.  They all came back dehydrated and exhausted, and, from the stories, it seemed they were lucky to make it back at all.

Friday (June 1), Jerry went out again with the 2 students and a woman who lives on the island (who had been close to the cave area before and thought she could find it).  They found the cave, but by the time they did, there wasn't time to go in and collect.

Saturday (June 2), Jerry went out with just the 2 students; he and 1 student spent 2 hours in the cave (the woman didn't have the upper body strength to get down and up the safety ladder into the cave) - and they didn't find a single brittle star.  Apparently, the salinity was such that they had gone deeper in, or had died or something. 

While Jerry and the 2 folks who traveled with us were doing this for 3 days, I was at the base.  I got out and walked the beach, but there are no vehicles (except the blue trucks for teachers and classes) for me, so I didn't walk far.  The heat was pretty intense, and I was trying not to get burned to a crisp the first few days so didn't want to be out between 11:00 and 2:00.

Sunday, June 3 was our 17th anniversary. 
Ladies, you haven't lived until your husband takes you to beautiful Gerace Research Center on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas for your anniversary!

10 comments:

Tina Besecker Marohn said...

Wow! What an adventure!

Carol Blackburn said...

Rhonda, I see your sense of humor is intact and if you get out of there with it still that way you will have done well. I do not envy you with cockroaches (and yes they can come back in your bags so I would open and empty them out in your driveway at home and check everything carefully). Whoever told you they didn't travel lied to you. They hitch rides like bedbugs. You are a brave one. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Stay safe!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Eeeeeewww.... I think Jerry is going to owe you big time! You get the good sport award for this century!!

Mick Carney said...

The big question is are we going to see some painting from what sounds like a really fascinating trip?

debwardart said...

Another romantic getaway! I agree with Pam - you should be in for a BIG present for your next anniversary! Glad you are back safe and sound and hope you got a few beach photos to work from!

debwardart said...

I agree with Pam - you should be in for a BIG present next anniversary. Glad you are back safe and sound and hope you got some beach photos to work from!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Happy Anniversary. This is one you'll always remember.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Oy. I think I'd have rather stayed home! LOL

Studio at the Farm said...

A belated Happy Anniversary to you! At least you weren't out in the jungle, living in tents!

RH Carpenter said...

Not sure my sense of humor was intact until I returned home! ha ha I was not a happy camper and now I'm worried about the cockroaches (too late to do anything since all is unpacked and washed now). I hope I didn't carry anything back with me but bug bites (which will heal), and another strange anniversary (remind me to tell you about our 11th anniversary to Belize; no, not a resort on Belize but another roughing it in Belize trip!).

Mick, I will try to paint some things from photos of blue water and white sands sometime soon :)

And, yes, it could have been worse - a tent in the Amazon jungle or something like that comes to mind!