Learning Everywhere/ Global Classroom by Layne Leggett

June 6th, 2022
Being halfway through my trip abroad with MANTA in the British Virgin Islands, I have already had some of the most amazing experiences of my life. The way in which we are learning is unlike any other, as half of our class has taken place under water. I have worked the first few days of the trip earning my Open Water Scuba Diver Certification and have already completed 5 dives, one being on a ship wreck! We have also been living on the boat each day, with lecture projected on a sheet inside each night when it gets dark. We also get the opportunity to learn the aspects of being part of a boat crew and sailing. It’s almost 3 classes in one!
The best learning aspect of the trip is learning about how to identify all the organisms we are required to know for the course and then recognizing them as we go down on each dive. It gives a whole new meaning to hands-on learning. At the end of the course we will even have an underwater exam to test how well we know the corals on reefs.
As far as landmarks and amazing places we have been so far, we hiked to the top of Norman Island, the island and story that inspired the novel Treasure Island. We also snorkeled into the caves on the other side where the last known chest of silver was found in 1910. We also dove at the ship wreck site of the RMS Rhône, a UK Royal Mail Ship that wrecked off the shore of Salt Island during a hurricane 1867 that killed 123 people. We all got the opportunity to touch the
“lucky port hole” underwater, which was the only port hole of the entire ship that the glass sustained the explosion of the tragedy. With 7 days left on the trip, I am very excited to see what is still in store.

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