Discovery. Adrenaline. Position. Thrust. Contact. Escape. Pursuit. Dismay.
So did my single encounter with a lionfish progress today. Once again, I’ve only managed to injure the infidel, though my conquest continues. Our morning began with a light breakfast but a heavy presentation by Dr. Gore on the state of the turtles in the world and in the Caribbean. Our mission for the day was to find and identify any sea turtles we may encounter off of Guana Island. Our prime strategy for finding the turtles was to “manta tow” behind the Sea Dragon, shown in the picture below.
The lionfish encounter described above took place as I snorkeled today along the reef of White Bay while the Sea Dragon searched for turtles. Though our search today proved to be fruitless, I still managed to have an absolute blast as we “manta towed” behind the sea dragon in search of turtles for tagging. I can only use so many synonyms for “fun” to describe the towing, but if asked to provide a most accurate description, I would say this: it’s like that scene in the James Bond movie “Thunderball” where Bond and his lady are pulled, handcuffed, behind a boat along a reef, only instead of being drowned by Greek gangsters, you’re having fun and saving the planet.
After returning from our fruitless turtle hunt, we met up with the marine biology 1 group for lunch at the Bath and Turtle restaurant at the marina. After eating our beef n’ buns, Marine Biology 2 loaded aboard the Sea Monkey and voyaged to the Jesuit reef, where we re-evaluated the health of our planted corals.
The bay in which the Jesuit reef is planted is a popular spot for sailboats to drop anchor. Unfortunately, we saw the effects of this as we assessed the damage caused by a poorly dropped anchor.
Here you can see Casey picking up some damaged coral, and you can see the path along which the anchor was dragged by the broken coral’s position.
Aside from this, the reef is doing astoundingly well, and Andrew Arbour and I recorded several pieces of healthy, growing corals’ information. Thanks to the shallowness of the dive site, I managed to have about 1000 extra PSI of air after the dive, so I went to the sandy flat where we anchored and practiced my moonwalking underwater.
This revelry concluded our day at sea, for after this we returned to shore for our evening constitutions, consisting of the usual delicious meal at Mad Dogs and story swapping. I had a wonderful conversation with Inga, the owner of Mad Dogs, and a slightly more drool filled conversation with Dixie, Casey’s bulldog, who has grown up quite a bit since we’d last met.
Next time on Alex Curry’s Marine Biology Experience: Who will win the grand battle: fish or man? What’s in store for the Jesuit Reef? How long is it going to take for Alex to convince his parents to let him run wild in Central America/ Europe alone? All this and more tomorrow!