Final Note on the Bahamas

It’s been over a week and a half since we have returned from the Bahamas and most of us wish we could go back. We all split our ways to go back to our summer jobs and what-not. Its strange to go from living in a house with 12 people to just yourself. We will never forget our experiences and the friendships we formed on the trip. Here are a few ending quotes from everyone on the trip and below is their favorite picture from the trip. (Alphabetical Order of course :p) 

 

 

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More Calabash Adventure Photos

Check out Shamie’s Facebook page to see more photos of our adventures with him. His underwater photos are phenomenal! Wonderful photography.

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Kayaking— http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150966088612482.446044.300270172481&type=3

Blue Hole— http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150943567452482.443121.300270172481&type=3

Exhibition Day!

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Friday was our open house for our final production of our Seascape for UNEXSO’s Dive Museum. We all decided to dress up for our gallery showing. It really was a nice way to end our time in the Bahamas. We had people that we had previously met in the Bahamas come to view our work and we also met some new people. It was a great way to make more connections and to hear more about the community and their opinion on our artwork.

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There should be more pictures to come in the gallery as well for all the detail shots. Freeport really was a life changing experience for us all and we will never forget all the wonderful faces that we have met during our visit. We hope that what we did there helped change the way people look at plastics and the environment.

Kayaking in the Bahamas

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As a break and a reward for completing our sculpture, we went on another excursion with Shamie from Calabash Eco Adventures (http://www.calabashecoadventures.com/). This time we went kayaking to an island and did some snorkeling. It was another amazing experience. Shamie really knows his stuff and where all the awesome places are.


Everyone got paired off into twos for the kayaks and we were taught a few basic instructions before we got into the boats. Carrying the boats down to shore was a lot heavier than expected. Quite exhausting.
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After getting in the water, we soon realized it was a little harder than we thought to actually paddle the right direction at a good speed. It was a decent tricep work out, lemme tell you. We kayaked our way to a tiny little island about 15 minutes away.
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Once we finally got to the beach, we were able to relax for a bit and enjoy the island. We found an incredible hermit crab colony. They lived in the rocks and they were swarming everywhere. I have never seen that many hermit crabs in one place before. So we put some food on the ground and they went crazy. They all swarmed in to get a little piece of the granola bar we put on the ground. They started to emerge from their rocky fortress and go into battle just to get a little nid-bit of granola. It was very entertaining.

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Now onto the snorkeling experience. This was the most shallow snorkel we have done here yet and we were able to finally see a lot more wildlife. Shamie guided us around the reef that surrounded the island and pointed out many awesome creatures to us and we were even able to touch a few every once in a while.

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About a half-hour into our snorkeling experience a storm decided to blow through and that was a really interesting experience. You could feel the little bits of rain tapping on your back and the crackling sounds it would make as it hit the surface of the water as you snorkeled. When you lifted your head above the water, you could see a downpour and hear thunder. Underneath though, the wildlife was unharmed and didn’t seem to be effected at all by what was going on above. I found that so interesting.

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After snorkeling, we swam back to the island where we kayaked, had lunch, and relaxed a bit on the island. Then we kayaked back to finish up our excursion. Boy oh boy were we tired though. All that kayaking and snorkeling really wiped us out! Oh and I forgot to mention, we all got burned during this excursion. We either forgot to put enough sunscreen on or didn’t reapply enough. Most of our backs are toast and our bottoms. What a great way to end our time in the Bahamas. Only one more day and then we leave the next morning! I can’t believe how quick this all happened already!

Relief!

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We finally finished our sculpture! It was so stressful. We really worked down to the last minute of our deadline. We completed our 3 reef mounds and transported them upstairs to the second floor of UNEXSO by the Museum of Dive History.

It makes sense to take breaks in the extreme heat, but even with our multiple breaks to cool off in the pool, we still worked really well together and got a lot done in the last 5 hours of work-time. At one point we were working so hard that we started to all go insane and start mumbling and getting clumsy by dropping drills and stuff. It was then decided that we needed to go take an ice-cream break. It was a wonderful idea because we all came back and were ready for more teamwork.
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One of my favorite methods we used to create our collaborate sculpture was the “3 Yes Policy”. Since we had 3 mounds, its hard to see what everyone is working on and it is important for everyone to stay in check and have a main goal that everyone wants to accomplish. So if you were making a decision about a new design element, you had to ask and get 3 quick different opinions on the matter. If you got 3 yes’s, then you could do it! It seemed to work really well because even if you like what you are working on, that doesn’t mean it goes well with the rest of the piece.
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The sculptures were a lot heavier than we expected and it was hard to maneuver around the building, up the stairs, and into position. Once we got it up there though, we were so proud of the results. A feeling of relief rushed over us. We couldn’t help but be ecstatic…in our sweaty, exhausted, work-modes.

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After we decided where exactly we wanted our sculptures in the exhibition, Christina and the General Manager of UNEXSO joined us in seeing the finished product. They seemed extremely happy with the results. We plan on having our official open house Friday, 12 – 4pm. We can’t wait!

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More pictures of the actual exhibition to come. Don’t want to spoil it! 😉
Cheers to completion on time!

Rough Waters

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We had a very productive morning with respect to the larger, two-part mound. We finally completed the one smaller mound and we even placed it up in UNEXSO just to see what it would look like.

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After a lunch break where some of us went to Zorba’s, a Greek cuisine, we noticed a few things might not work with our larger mound. We tried to drill in the shark but everything started to get warped and cracks started to form in our larger blue support piece.

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Some of us didn’t like the position of the shark on the piece as well. So towards the end of our work day, tensions rose and we all gathered together to try and work out the design problems we were having. It was evident that the shark HAD to come off because it was not in a secure location, nor did its harsh up and down angle work. We then all tried to think of new ways to position the shark onto our sculpture and we could not decide on a correct location. I think after a day of working in the intense heat, we all got a little paranoid and grumpy so trying to decide a key factor of our sculpture just wasn’t going to happen at that point. So we decided that we would tackle this obstacle tomorrow.
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Well before we got into a debate on what to do with the shark and the apparent tilt of the sculpture, we completed the placing of some cute wildlife on our sculpture.

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Crunch Time

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Our finalized plan is finally starting to take way. This morning we had a huge discussion of what we needed to do from here and how to handle the incredible challenge of balancing up the shark on one of the mounds. We also had to decide if we had enough plastic to finish the third independent mound.

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We decided, that we would NOT give up on the third mound but instead, attach it to the mound that is holding up the shark because it made a better composition. We all worked really hard today and accomplished a lot. The first mound is about 95% done, all that needs done is addition of some fish and detail fix-ups. Detail pictures of that mound will be posted tomorrow.

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Around 2:30, Eddy Raphael, the videographer for UNEXSO, came over to do a little video session of our work. We are becoming almost famous here in the Bahamas. When we walked into the market, we picked up the Freeport News, and our group filled up a whole page! “Visiting students recycling plastic, partnering with Unexso” was the title.

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Oh, and also, we always talk about how hot and tired we all are but I’m sure you guys can’t really grasp that idea without being there and all of the pictures I tend to take show us having a great time. So here are some misery shots… 😉
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Hot Work Day

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Little did we know, that today was going to be one of the hottest days we have experienced for working on our reef-scene. Well, actually, lets just say the most direct sunlight day. Everyone was scrambling for a piece of shade under the tent to work today. As we worked, the sun would move and the shade under the tent would shift and so would we. It was quite entertaining.

Even though we got to UNEXSO a little later today, our progress is still going well for our sculpture. For sake of time, we focused mainly on the shark and 2 mounds. We spent a lot time working on details on the one mound while Steve mainly worked on the structure layout for the other mound that the shark will hopefully rest on-top of.

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A lot of people also took a break from the mounds to work on fish and creatures. It was a little rough working in the direct sunlight at the heating station while trying to make coral. After using the heat-gun in the sun for over an hour, Kayla’s vision started to get fuzzy. At one point we all took a break to get icecream to try and cool off. It was wonderful!

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We also tried to figure out how we were going to display the shark today. We held it at different angles and tried to figure out places to connect it to one of the mounts. We are still debating on a good way to display it but we definitely have some ideas on the back-burner.

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Community Workshop

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Today we held a workshop at UNEXSO for plastic sculpture development. This was a great opportunity for the Art Education Majors in our group. We showed everyone how to build plastic sculptures and how to make underwater wildlife. It was a huge success. It was a little tough working through the heat, but it was still an incredible experience. We had over 20 people come to work with us today. It was amazing to see how creative others were when it came to designing their products. I hope they all spread the word about working with recycled plastics and build more sculptures!

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Thank you to everyone who came to our workshop today. You guys made some really awesome pieces!

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As we had our workshop, we also continued to work on assembling our shark. We talked about the most effective way to create a head and how to evoke the movement of the shark by having gaps and an arching armature. Its still no where near done, but we all are excited with how this all will turn out. Christina came over at one point and fell in love with our shark and we aren’t even finished! That was a relief to see that she already liked our design.

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Studio Work Day!

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Today was the first day of the construction. We made great headway on a few mounds of coral. Our shark is slowly coming to live. It was surprising how far we got in just one day from having nothing done. For our design, we plan on having 3 mounds of coral that have a tire as a base because it is the most sturdy and can hold up all of the coral we put ontop. We also plan on making a fairly large shark because UNEXSO LOOOVEESS sharks.

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We worked from 9am to 4pm off an on. It was an extremely humid day. The air was so thick, it was hard to breathe. At first we got the basic structure of the mounts done but then after that, it appeared that everyone got intimidated by the forms so everyone decided to work on smaller detail projects.

Kayla, Vicky, and Ryan worked on a sea cucumber, which they named Bobbi. They spent a few hours on this very detailed sea cucumber out of a shoe and plastic forks.

Brandon worked on the construction of one of the coral reef and then moved on to details like sea-grass out of moutain dew bottles. He also made some brain coral out of plastic and rope.

Andrea made little sea polyps out of straws. Haley and Rachel worked on making barnacles on the side of one of the barrels out of bottle caps and plastic balloons.Marli helped with the barnacles and also started to make an octopus out of a beach-ball. Brittany started to make sea-stars out of a brown crate. Christina and Catherine continued to work on the shark.

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At one point, I look over at Haley and I was said, “Hmm…you look like someone right now.” Then I realized that she looked like Dr. Ellie from Jurassic Park. Then again, I’m just a Jurassic Park nerd, what do you guys think though?
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