Davis Kepple- Day 4


Today began yet again with a beautiful view and breakfast at a cabin. After this, we headed down to the marina and set out gear up. We had three dives scheduled for the day. Our first dove was at a site called “Ginger’s Backside”. This was a gorgeous dive where we took data for our research project. We saw cool creatures but nothing new from what I saw on previous dives. Next we took a short boat ride to a site called “Vanishing Rock”. Here we didn’t find the stag horn coral we needed for our project so we had a fun dive. This was probably my favorite dive. We saw tons of unique creatures including large French Angelfish, 2-3 foot long lobsters, 3 foot long dog snapper, several colorful filefish, a spotted moray eel, and a 3 foot long shark sucker. The shark sucker was my favorite because it circled our group for about 10 minutes and came within arms reach of me. It was amazing to see so close, an experience I will never forget. This especially stood out to me because I am particularly interested in sharks and have always been interested in shark suckers like this. Due to its size, it must have been attached to a significantly large shark or other animal, which made me excited at the possibility of seeing a large animal. When we surfaced, we headed to a specific location for our group only to dive, which was awesome. It was a flat open area with stingrays and large snapper and grouper all over the place. We found a perfect site to record data. When we surfaced we began our journey back for lunch with the other boat. After lunch we went for yet another dive to a coral nursery to clean it up and keep it thriving. This was the fourth dive of the day when we usually only do two, it was great! The coral cleaning was fun. ,me and will paired up to clean a tree of coral. It was especially cool to see up close the stag horn coral that we were cleaning because that’s the same type we used for our research project. We also saw cool clams, barnacles, snapper, and even some worms as we were cleaning. It was also very fulfilling to think about how crucial it is to protect the coral and help reverse the damage we have caused as humans. After this we went back to the beach for dinner while watching an excellent sunset over the crystal clear water. Now I am going to sleep, four dives in a day really takes it out of you!