Day 4 – Mystery Grouper Turtle!
This morning we began our conch/seagrass herbivory lab. I swam out and placed one on the reef flat. After that I got to float around in the shallow water and lay on the beach. It still hasn’t sunk in that I am actually in another country, let alone on an island in the middle of the sea.
This afternoon we went snorkeling at the “aquarium”. I saw a big spotted grouper, it was possibly a marble but I’m not sure. We also saw Southern Stingrays which were pretty neat.
Scratch all of that. Coolest thing. Baby Sea Turtles. My life is complete. I will die no happy now.
Day 5 – Rain
This morning I woke up to pouring rain. We weren’t able to snorkel this morning, so we had a lecture on invertebrates. My favorite parts are the tangents Dr. Long takes on the anthropocean.
The shallow waters are beating me up. I got stung by hydras in 3 spots. They are fun little burn marks. I got them when
I tried to set a transect. We weren’t able to sample along the transect because Dr. Nelson decided the weather was too bad, which I was glad of because we saw a stingray by our feet so I was already freaked out.
Day 6 – Snorkeling is not for me
Last night I did the ring game in one shot! And went night kayaking, it was really windy.
This morning we had lecture on coral reef structure. Then I studied fish ID. Today I chose not to snorkel. I felt so much better staying in the boat. I am used to sailing as a deckhand or skipper so the choppy waves didn’t bother me. I helped all the divers back into the boat. Snow and Alban said I was hired.
Day 7 – Study day
Today I practiced algae ID twice; I think I’ve got them all down. I also practiced some of the fish IDs. Then I talked to Richard on the dock for an hour and a half. We mostly talked about fishing, boating, and more fishing. We also talked about the benefit of life experience compared to education.
I really enjoyed studying on the island, and just like Blakely, I learned so much more being in the field than in a classroom. Touching the algae in the tank, I learned the names so much faster. Trying to read the book, I couldn’t remember any of the names.
Tonight we discussed human impact on the environment. This is a subject that really interests me. I think people have a duty to care for the environment. I really liked Dr. Long’s response that education on human impact is important to getting people to care for the environment.
Continue to day 8-11.