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July 14-15      We woke up and set up the table. It was our turn to make breakfast for the groups. We set up cereal and oranges and the grapes and milk and juice. We then set the chairs up to be more comfortable. After we finished eating breakfast, we came to the wi-fi room to watch a sea turtle presentation to prepare for the sea turtle catching in the sea. After the presentation, we split up into the groups that belonged in Sea Monkey and Sea Dragon. I went turtle catching first with my Sea Monkey group. We got on the boat with our diving gear and prepared to go into the water to snorkel. Dr. Gore had mentioned that to catch turtles you would have to stay along the shore or where there was sea grass and when someone saw it, their group would corner it and somebody would grab it from the shell from they would have to grab it behind their neck and on their bottom of their shell too. My small group to catch and tag turtles was Mike Ponder and Jim Hayden. While we were looking for turtles along the sea grass, I saw one out of the corner of my eye and immediately went for it. When I dove down for it, I went for the grab and it immediately darted away. We did 3 nearby snorkel sites in Little Dix Island and a guy named Killian caught a turtle for our team. We went back up and examined it and saw it had been tagged before. Since it was already named Dawson, we decided to give it Killian’s last name which is Leoanard. After we caught the turtle, we checked that the tags were still secure and then Dr. Gore released it.

We then headed to Savannah Bay to learn about invertebrates. Something I learned that I found interesting, is that sea urchin’s consume food through the same opening that they excrete waste. They showed us different species of sea urchins and they also showed us Fireworms and a lettuce slug. After that learning session, we had a free hour to snorkel for fun. I spotted a small purple crab and some cool schools of fish. We then headed back near the docks and ate at the Yacht Club. I ordered a shrimp and crabmeat wrap which was deliciously made with some sauce. For the final activity of the day, we had some beach games in which cabins competed in different events to win fifty dollars to use at the dive shop and a cap. In one of these events, I took part in running through an obstacle course with a blindfolded face-mask. My partners could only guide me with their voice. I had to start at a flag and then zigzag through some poles. Then I had to swim to a floating vest and go around it, swim back to shore and zigzag through the poles again and touch the flag before the opponent. That event was a lot of fun on top of water balloon dodgeball. I was able to hit two people in water balloon dodgeball and got to participate with my team in some fun games. I look forward to getting some progress in my Elkhorn project and am excited to see and learn about coral reef restoration.

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  • bkirbyjcp

    Gerad,
    I am glad you all were able to see a turtle up-close – it is quite the experience! Enjoy the rest of your trip and I have enjoyed reading your blog entries.

    Best,
    Dr. Kirby