Day 2


We started the day by waking up at 6:25 and heading over to Doc’s cabin for a breakfast consisting of cereal, sausage, and eggs. After everyone finished their breakfast we walked to the meeting spot where Glen, our taxi driver, meets us and were driven to the yacht club for the first day or project dives. Once again we put together our BCD and dive gear on the way to our first dive site off of Cooper Island. After talking to Beth the night before we decided to look for a spot around 30-20 feet deep to find Black Sea urchins. Once we entered the water it took about 10 minutes until we found a spot with urchins. Jim, Logan, and I measured out and marked a 10 foot by 10 foot area of coral and began to record the fish diversity, number of sea urchins, and take pictures of the area. In order to count all of the fish Killian and I both had slates with underwater paper where we counted and recorded each fish we saw. While counting the fish a huge Tarpin swam through our project area and scared all of the fish, making it harder to count them. With all of the data recorded and the equipment collected and put in our dive bag we headed back to the boat. Once all groups were back on the boat we drove to our second dive site also located off of Cooper island. After getting the process down the first dive we made slight adjustments to our experiment then we jumped in. This time it felt like we found a suitable project area faster than the first time, we created the 10×10 area around a giant Black Sea urchin that we saw in a crevice. Once again Killian and I counted fish (this time no Tarpin came to interrupt our counting) while Logan took pictures and Jim counted sea urchins. After we were done testing we swam back to the boat and saw an even larger Tarpin than the first one, it was not afraid of us and even swam towards Jim and I. With everyone back on the Sea Monkey, Ben drove to the other boat (the Sea Dragon) so we could tie the boats together to have lunch. Casey and Beth set up another delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly and lunch meat. We ate on the boats and when people finished eating they dove off the back of the boat to swim. A few people jumped in with their masks on and kept saying that there was a barracuda beneath the boat but when more people got their masks, it seemed to have swam away. As everyone was about to get out of the water someone shouts saying that they see it so everyone looks and sure enough there is a huge barracuda a few feet away from us hunting fish. We all realized how close it was and hurried out of the water. The original plan after lunch was to go to the mangroves and explore them but Casey said that because of algae blooming the visibility was too low, instead of the mangroves we were going to go an explore Salt Island. Salt Island used to be where workers scraped up salt off of the bottom of a giant pond and sold it to merchant ships that docked there. As we were exploring Henry, Will and I saw a small rocky path to the top big hill there and decided to go up it. More people saw us going and eventually we were at the head of a large group all hiking up a mountain in their dive shoes. Once we were done at salt island we had a long boat ride back to the yacht club. Once we arrived we unloaded the Sea Monkey and prepped it for tomorrow’s dives before being picked up by Glen. It started to rain on the taxi ride back to Guavaberry so everybody got wet again before heading back to our cabins. Once we were done showering we had to come down to the lounge to work on our research projects and blogs before eating dinner at 6:30 on the beach.