Blog Entry: 6 July, 2016


Today marked the first day of our research dives, which we had spent the last few weeks preparing for. In addition to providing important data for our projects, today’s dives featured a number of remarkable sightings, including but not limited to sand divers (a type of lizardfish,) a queen angelfish, gray angelfish, a spotted moray eel, a massive scrawled filefish, a large shoal of Caribbean reef squid, and several small pufferfish. After completing the dives, we anchored in a small bay on the north side of Virgin Gorda to eat lunch. There, we observed a shoal of large yellowtail snappers circling the boat in an attempt to find food. We were fortunate enough to get in the water with them, so as to best observe their shoaling behavior. After lunch, we traveled to the mangroves, where we observed several barracudas, including several hatchlings and a five foot long behemoth cruising over a sea grass bed. Also in the mangroves were aptly named mangrove snappers, sea cucumbers, a basketball-sized porcupinefish, lizardfish, and upside-down jellyfish. Although several lemon Sharks were apparently present in the area, we unfortunately did not see them. Though the day went well overall, having to end it by doing fifteen push-ups for not securing a dust cap was not a pleasant experience.