Today was day four of our trip. Today the plan was to start out with two project dives, and then collect some data on the coral restoration project. We woke up at our normal time and had breakfast at 7:15 again, this time at my cabin. We headed to the dock via the bus. We loaded up the boat and went to “bronco Billy.” It was a rough first dive to say the least. When we went to go find a place to count there was a current that took us to the area, making the initial swim quite easy. When we arrived, we had a rough time finding a place with enough coral to set up and count fish. We finally found a mediocre site, counted the fish, picked up our markers, and started to swim back. However, we soon realized that the current that had made it so easy to get to the site made it extremely difficult to get back. It was so hard in fact that some of us used up a third of the oxygen in less than ten minutes. We surfaced after what felt like a long swim and jumped on the boat to head to our next dive site, coral gardens. The second dive went much more smoothly. We descend and were able to find a spot with quite a lot of coral. We counted almost twenty fish this time! On the way back we did a little exploring and we got to see a few crabs and a sea turtle up very close! After we ascended, we went to the dock to get some more oxygen, and then drove over to the other boat to eat lunch.
After lunch, we went over to where a previous groups of students had set up what was basically a coral farm. This is to have the coral grow in a protected area. Eventually when the coral are large and healthy, the goal is to transplant them to a reef. We counted the number of branches that each coral had, and measured the largest and smallest coral in each area. We then swam around the nearby reef for a while and looked at some of the marine life. After three dives, we were all exhausted so we got back on the boat and went back to guava berry to work on our research projects.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to the shipwreck dive. This will be the deepest dive yet. My group is done with the project that we are doing so tomorrow I’m going to be able to relax and enjoy the dive.