We have 19 hours until we depart South Caicos. The water is perfectly still and enticing us into one final dive and snorkel, but our gear has been packed, masks snugly cushioned with stray socks and fins laid securely among our salt-ridden clothes. We’ll get one final farewell from the shores of Long Cay. The iguanas will watch us from the rocky island as we take the boats one last time across the brilliantly turquoise waters and maybe an eagle ray will glide smoothly under us as we motor back to the center for our final night.

I have mixed feelings about leaving. This semester has been difficult and tiring, but also very exciting and full of adventure. I’m ready to go home, but also reticent to leave this behind. Where else will we have warm, picturesque ocean waters as our back yard? When else will our classes take place in the sea? How will we cope with being back home after such a semester? But then again I am ready for my next adventure. Ready to continue on, knowing that our time on South has changed each and every one of us, even if we don’t know it yet, and our friendships and memories will be with us wherever our lives take us next.

→ Marine Resource Studies in the Turks & Caicos Islands