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TREX 2018 Day 10: Breathing Underwater

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TREX 2018 Day 10: Breathing Underwater

By Joey Noszek ’20

We began the day by going to Kanahul’u Beach for snorkeling. I had never snorkeled before and I found snorkeling to be a great experience once I got the hang of it. However, I was not warned about how snorkeling is before getting used to it. At first, it was horrible. Even if you have a tube in your mouth, breathing underwater is unnatural.

Kanahul’u Beach. Photo: Meghan Reisenauer

The key to snorkeling is to breathe normally, but every instinct tells you not to breathe. For a while, snorkeling feels like drowning. After a time, though, one can breathe well and it becomes a beautiful experience. I saw a variety of fish, freshwater springs, coral, sea urchins, and sea turtles. I hope to do it again when I do not spend half the time gasping for air.

Afterward, Meghan noticed that the beach was home to a shave ice stand. The entire time that we had been here, Meghan was craving her dose of shave ice. Now that she finally had some in sight, she bought some. Due to her enthusiasm, I had to acquire my own cup. I ordered a banana, lime, and mango shave ice with ice cream and a snow cap. It was delicious and far superior to the shave ice that I had previously eaten in Delaware.

Shave ice

When we returned to Hapuna, it was time to get back to work. We spent six hours analyzing data. I was working on the particle sensor project. The main challenge for me last night was the sheer amount of data we had. Some of our results were promising, but we have not been able to make sense of everything yet.

Every year, a group of MIT students and professors travel to the Big Island of Hawaii to gain fieldwork experience through TREX (Traveling Research Environmental EXperiences). The first TREX trip was held in 2000, and since launching has taken students on research activities in domestic and international settings. For more undergraduate opportunities, click here.