Today was another amazing unique experience. We started off the day with a nice breakfast with a gorgeous view. I started the day searching for invertebrates by a shallow reef. Harrison and I snorkeled out to the deep edges and saw some very cool things. We saw several types of coral and fish accompanying them. My favorite moment was when we came up on a pod of 12 reef squid. They ranged from about half of a foot to 2 feet in length. They arranged themselves in a line together and watched us intently as we stuck around. We also experienced swimming a few inches above a reef full of fire coral as we mistakenly tried to swim over a large reef to make a shortcut. Another cool thing we saw were a few very large trumpet fish. Another moment that sticks out to me was when me and Harrison looked up from the bottom and saw that we were completely encircled by a school of small baitfish. Lastly, as we returned to the beach, we had a touch tank full of lettuce slugs, a large hermit crab and some sea urchins. We then enjoyed a nice lunch by the marina before leaving for the second activity of our day.
After lunch we began our turtle tagging. It was an extremely exhausting experience. The first turtle I saw took me on a chase for about 15-20 minutes of some of the hardest swimming I have ever experienced. After it finally officially lost me, I relaxed for a little while and snorkeled with Will, Harrison, and Sully around the reef. We again mistakenly found ourselves above a jackpot of fire coral. We also saw many cool species including trunkfish, stingrays, and sand divers. We also caught a turtle on the boat. It was an incredible experience seeing it so close up and learning about it in person.
After this, as if we weren’t already exhausted enough, we played the beach games. We unfortunately did not win but I had a great time. We then swam and ate lasagna as the sun set over the crystal clear water. I’m going to bed soon, ready to get back to scuba diving tomorrow.