Day 2


         Today was another early day. It started with a great breakfast at the teachers cabin with eggs, juice, cereal, and fruit. After the food, we went out on our first project dive. Our project is to find out if 3 types of fish (surgeon fish, Doctor fish, and blue tang) have any effect on the amount of bleached coral in any given area. We get a 10 foot rope and create a 10 by 10 square with lion fish markers. After that was set up we ascended over the area and watched how many of each type of fish entered and left the area within 10 minutes. We also estimate what the percentage of the coral is bleached. We have 4 categories; under 25%, under 50%, under 75%, and under 100%. After we finished the experiment we swam around the reef for a while and saw 3 black tip sharks and a lot of squid! We stayed in for about 40 minutes and when we got out we were right back in after a 20 minute rest period and a light rain. During the break, while it was raining, we all jumped in the water, which was warmer than the rain. This dive was even more diverse than the second. This dive we did the same procedure as the first. We set up the ropes around a 75% bleached area and watched for 10 minutes. We saw more of our selected fishes here than we did on the first dive. After the lab we swam around for about 20 more minutes through the colorful reef. We saw tons of triggerfish, a shark, squid, and more fish I couldn’t name. In addition, we saw a huge barracuda which was at least 4 feet long. We got really close to it and it just sat there. It was very scary. After the second dive, the two boats connected with rope. We ate a sandwich and chip lunch on the boat. It was pretty good, expect for the fact there is no mayo so I had to settle for mustard. So after this we headed over to the salt pond and learned all about the history of this island. The island started as a salt mine in the colonial times and slowly degraded to one man living there. Sadly, he died in the 1980s so the island is a ghost town filled with broken down houses and old picnic tables. We started to walk around through the island and there was a huge pond right in the middle of the small island. The pond had salt built up all over the edges and in the pond. Once we started to walk more around the pond the salt density increased until it looked like ice. We started throwing really big rocks at the ground and it would barely crack the salt. After a while we saw a trail leading up to the top of the ridge and I was very unprepared. We were all in our dive boots which were vary bad protection to the sharp rocks and it was very hot with no water. But, once we got to the ridge it was an insane view. On one side it was the island with a really cool pond in the middle. And the other side it was a curved beach in a “u” shape with the clear blue ocean. Unfortunately, no one brought their camera or phone, so no one got a picture. This disappointed many people. The ride back was very long and made us very tired. We were finally back. 
        The thing I am most looking forward to tomorrow is the sea turtle tagging. I am not sure how we are going to do this and I am very interested in the procedure. I am also very interested in the next project dive day to finish our research and the PowerPoint.