H. Droese- Day Two


After today I’m thoroughly exhausted and extremely happy about the course of events today. After getting situated for our second day of diving. In the Sea Monkey boat the day began, heading toward Cooper Island in order to dive wreck alley. Before the dive the boat briefed on the dive and learned we would be diving to the Beata, sunk around 2001, and the Island Seal which was sunk in 2009. We also learned that the area around the wrecks were host to some garden eels. We also noticed multiple other species of fish including tarpon and a lion fish pointed out by our dive-master. After diving between the upper deck of flipped Island seal (a transport vessel), we had a observed the nearby reef and had a chance to observe multiple tarpon on our way to the safety stop. When we adjusted our gear for the second dive, we headed over to the site in order to conduct our first project dive. My dive group of six, including Beth, were equipped with two sets of measuring line, weights, slates, and a camera. We split up to survey both biodiversity of all species in an allotted 20ft. line and the population density of blue tangs, fairy basslets, and stoplight parrotfish. The only difference was the varying complexity of the reefs that we studied. In my group, the complex reef, consisted of one tang, one basslet, and two beautiful parrotfish, with a total of thirteen species in our area, we also got the opportunity to view a fairly large amount of tarpon near the dive boat. However, one possible source of error in our experiments was underestimating the topography of the complex reef and not having the line as taught as possible. This error caused the line to sway slightly and could have scared away some fish. After our surveys we collected our tape and looked around the surrounding area. As we swam, our group encountered two squids and a starfish, an amazing surprise as we were able to witness the squids modulate their colors as they swam away when we got a bit too close for their comfort. One interesting thing I learned from observation was when most fish are tipping over near the sand they are accepting cleaning from other organisms. Concluding our diving, we headed back to shore for lunch and some games the beach. My team, Mango Cabin (aka. Squid Squad) came in third out of four, reaping the most points from the ocean pictionary event. Plastered by sand, we headed back to our cabins for a shower and went to a delightful mass with an amazing view of most of the island. We then had dinner near The Baths and got to watch fire dancers under the moonlight, a fiery, kerosene fueled spectacle of fire and music. All-in-all, today’s experience was breathtaking and my anticipation for tomorrow can only be subdued by sleep.