So it was when I was 25. Cary called and suggested I spend a couple weeks in Tobago with her and 12 other marine biologist types. We'd be counting the fish population in a bay off the northwest side of the island. She promised a lot of science, a lot of rum, and more snorkeling than a sea lover could imagine.
Our job was to count the fish in Man Of War Bay. The local government needed a census to help monitor the fishing industry. They wanted to proactively be able to stop over-fishing of low count species. None of us were being paid to this - for all of us except Dennis, our leader, this was summer vacation. Dennis was making this his career.
Dr. Adam, the herpetologist, with a prize.
Dr. Matt, with a sample or two.
We lived without news. None of us took a phone or a computer. Notes were taken on paper and everything was photographed multiple times and ways.
And on the first Saturday, the locals invited us to their three day street party. We danced to Bob Marley tunes, ate delicacies unknown, and found out what 'really good' rum tasted like.
One day a local 'nature guide' stopped by and asked us if we'd like a hike across the island. He'd show us the nearby bamboo groves, point out where turtles were being caught illegally, and he promised us the most beautiful private cove for swimming.
And best friends for the summer.