Day Four


Day four started with its typical 6:15 a.m alarm followed by a procession of snooze button clicks. We then ate a quick cereal and yogurt breakfast and rushed down to the cattle guard to meet Glenn. We were dropped off at the dock, loaded Sea Dragon, and made our way to our first dive spot, Bronco Billy. It was a challenging dive to say the least. The initial swim to our experimental area was quite easy to due the aid of a strong current. The experiment also went well and resulted in some good data for our presentation Sunday. However, we soon realized that the “helpful” current that made it so easy to get to our destination was extremely difficult to swim through. It was so difficult that I used almost half of my tank in a matter of just ten minutes! Despite the exhaustion, we finally surfaced and rode the Sea Dragon to our next site, Coral Gardens. The second dive went much more smoothly and likewise resulted in great data. We descended and were able to find strong patch of coral with a stronger population of Parrotfish, the fish that we are testing. We counted over twenty fish! On our way back to the boat, Zoltan pointed out a few enormous lobsters and a juvenile hawksbill sea turtle. We watched the sea turtle for a while and for a few seconds he was within arms reach. We later ascended and met with the other boat, Sea Monkey, for lunch. After lunch, we went to ARK’s, Association of Reef Keepers, coral nursery to collect data and clean the PVC pipe “branches” where the miniature staghorn corals are currently growing. These corals develop in a protected environment and hopefully, some time in the future, they will be both large enough and healthy enough to transplant them to a new and growing reef. We counted the number of branches that each coral had, and measured the smallest and largest coral on each individual PVC “branch”. We then swam around a nearby reef, acknowledging all the marine life. Additionally, Zoltan even killed two more Lion fish, but sadly I missed the action. We later ascended, and after three long dives, we went back to Guavaberry to work on our research projects. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to diving in and around the shipwrecked Rhone.