Day 5 – Merkel


Today was an easier experience than our previous days, much of which could be attributed to the ease of awaking in the morning. The slow start to the day was furthermore enhanced by a warm bacon omelette at the usual marina breakfast bar. Afterwards, we again boarded the Sea Monkey vessel for the final day of diving and headed out to our first site where we were to pick specific kinds of staghorn coral off the sea floor for a replantation. Staghorns completely enveloped in coral bleaching or white spots were unsuitable candidates, nor were corals that were perfectly healthy. So 45 minutes later and 10 decent staghorns ready for replacement, the Sea Monkey crew boarded once more to quickly transport the corals to their new location on the Jesuit reef site in full view of the new underwater camera. Our next dive consisted of attaching the struggling staghorn corals to their new coral location by the use of a malleable marine epoxy, which with a bit of patience, did in fact harden to support my rather large specimen. After everyone affixed their own coral, the second marine biology group documented and measured each new coral, as the first group enjoyed their last time under the Caribbean waves. But the sadness of leaving the ocean for the last time was subsided by a pizza night dinner on the beach in full view of the sunset. Today may have concluded the diving portion of our trip but the fun is far from over and tomorrow’s service activity will be personally rewarding.