Today the two dives we took were geared toward for our project, which is determining if a larger diameter in sponges means a faster speed low process of water. To test this we had planned on releasing a tracer dye into the water around the sponge and timing how long the sponge took to start excreting the dye; however, we were unable to receive the tracer dye so we prepared to test food coloring instead. Heading out to Ginger’s backside for the first dive of the day at around 9:30, we were all skeptical about the visibility of the food coloring we were using as dye and spent the boat ride to the site actively preparing for possible new projects. Once diving to 50 feet we found our first purple barrel sponge around 60 cm in diameter and circled around it preparing for testing. After giving Owen the signal that the camera was all ready he let the food coloring surround the sponge and after almost twenty seconds the sponge began excreting the dye! We repeated this process two more times with sponges varying in diameters before making our way back to the boat. On the return trip, we found a barrel sponge that was around 6 feet tall and residing inside the giant sponge was a rather large lobster, probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Once back in the boat, we headed over to Ginger’s steps and searched for more purple barrell sponges to no avail. The trip was not wasted though as we got the chance to see a couple nurse sharks that were as curious about us as we were about them as well as some very interesting reef formations.
Upon returning to the hotel, we walked a mile to the Baths, huge rock formations right off the beach that were breaktaking to view and the snorkel back to the hotel was really interesting. Closing out the day with a frisbee toss on the beach and a really interesting documentary on the effect of Coral bleaching around the world. It really affected me once I realized slot of the estudio things I have seen down here may not be here for very much longer. I can’t wait to get back in the water and continue to accumulate more data for our project and to get the chance to see some more reefs.