Anna Clipperton ’14 spent the majority of this summer in the British Virgin Islands as an intern for SeaTrek, a scuba diving, sailing, and marine science summer program for middle and high school students. The trip, which lasted seven and a half weeks, was packed full of hiking, diving, sailing, snorkeling, nightly science presentations, and much more. Clipperton was one of the staff leaders of the program, after having been a student in the program last summer.
“I loved the program so much last year,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be a staff member this year, because the staff was my favorite part about the voyage when I was a student. They were their own little family and I wanted to be a part of that family.”
As a staff member, Clipperton’s schedule was even more packed than the students’. Each morning she would get up at around 6:30a.m. to make sure breakfast was cooked and morning chores were done before the students got up an hour later. Then she would help lead a hike or a dive before lunch, and then the entire “fleet” would sail to their next destination in the British Virgin Islands. After lunch, the students would have snorkeling time or free time before dinner and a science presentation.
“My favorite memory of my internship was when our fleet went to a place called Diamond Cay,” said Clipperton.
At this island, the fleet glimpsed no less than twelve sea turtles while on a snorkel Clipperton was leading.
“I had seen turtles before but never in that quantity,” she said. “The water was only about 8 feet deep, so we could easily free dive down and be right next to them.”
Clipperton currently plans on turning her back to back summers at SeaTrek into a three year run, returning next year as long as her schedule allows it.