Today, I got up at 7:00, packed my stuff for the day, and walked over to another group’s cabin for breakfast. Breakfast was the same as always, but this time with some egg protein, which was nice. After breakfast, I rode to the marina and boarded the Sea Dragon, and headed over to the wreck of the RMS Rhone, a huge ship that sank in 1867. Our first dive went to the bow of the boat, which remained fairly undisturbed after 150 years. During the dive I swam through the inside of the hull, which was really awesome. After the dive, my dive instructors told us the story of the Rhone. It was built in 1865 and was one of the most advanced ships of its time. It was deemed “unsinkable”. However, during a hurricane, it was blown into a rock, and the ship ran aground. The boiler exploded, and the ship was blown in half. Only one passenger survived the accident, but all of the crew, except the captain, who was blown out to sea and never seen again. In honor of the surviving passenger, during our next dive, we rubbed porthole 26, the room the survivor was housed in. The next dive, I swam at the stern of the ship, which was blown to pieces by dynamite. Both dives, I was amazed by how much the reef had overgrown the wreckage. After the second dive, we stopped on Cooper Island for fish and chips, which was excellent. After lunch, I had some lemon and mango gelato for dessert. Then, I snorkeled in the reefs and sea grass fields near the island for an hour. We all searched for seahorses for a fifty dollar prize, but no one saw one. However, I did see a huge eagle ray which was really cool. After that, I rode back to the marina and returned to the hotel. I worked with my research group to compile our data from our surveys and write up our presentation for tomorrow for a couple of hours. After that, I had a dinner of burritos, which was excellent. The sunset was beautiful. After that, I worked more on my project before going to bed.
Today, I woke up at 7:15, got ready, and headed over to another group’s cabin for breakfast. However, I was 30 minutes early, so I just squatted on their porch until breakfast was ready. Then, I had cereal for breakfast. After breakfast, I walked to the hotel presentation room and listened to a presentation on sea turtles from a lady named Dr. Shannon Gore. We learned about the life cycle of turtles, which can swim over 10000 miles in the lifetime, and threats to their survival, such as overfishing. Then, I rode to the marina and boarded a boat. We rode out to a reef where turtles were common and another half of the boat was towed behind the boat. They were towed for about 15 minutes before they found a turtle. One person, Cooper caught the turtle, and he hauled it back the boat. It was tagged, measured, and pictured before being released. Then, my half of the boat was towed behind for about 20 minutes. I was towed through big clouds of jellyfish, which was quite painful. Sadly, no one in our group found a turtle, so the search was called off. After that, I went to lunch with the other Marine 2 students and one of the dive instructors, Jeff. We talked about life and ate cheeseburgers. After lunch we boarded a small boat and rode to the Jesuit reef planted last year. After a hard swim of several hundred yards in full scuba gear, we reached the reef and took pictures of all surviving coral. Clearly, most of the reef had been destroyed by hard wave action, but the surviving corals grew a lot. After that dive, I swam back to the boat, got out of my scuba gear, and had the best Dr. Pepper of my life. Then, the went back to the hotel, and helped my research group make last minute preparation for our presentation. The presentation went well in my opinion because we all participated and represented and explained our data fully. After that, I had pizza on the beach for dinner and watched another beautiful sunset. Then, I returned to the wifi room for the evening.