The day began with two more early morning dives geared toward wrapping up the data collection for our projects, which meant going to find more sponges. The first dive took place at George Dog island, and over the course of our dive we found four more barrel sponges to collect data on. There was a fairly strong current at the dive site, making it dificult to release the dye, record measurements, and videotaping the whole process. After returning to the boat and getting off a few jumps from the second story, my group decided to broaden the spectrum of spongest we were testing to see if sponges of similar size but different species also had similar speedflow processes. For the second dive site, we travelled back to Chimney, where we had gone the second dive of the trip. Traveling through the “valley” with its walls covered in Coral, we had the chance to test a a single tube and two multitubular sponges before traveling through the archway leading out of the canyon. We also saw some really pretty queen and princess parrot fish as well as a few tarpin. On our way back to the boat, Beth our dive instructor showed us a Sea Pearl, a single felled organism that was around the size of a golf ball. It was purple and squishy, and Beth later let us know that the Sea Pearl’s outer covering protected a inner freshwater environment with a nucleus.
Returning to the beach, we relaxed and played frisbee and ran around the beach. After that we had a barbecue of burgers and hot dogs on the beach followed by our night snorkel. The night snorkel was cool because we got to see so many things like mini shrimp, squid, and pufferfish that would be a lot harder to see during the day. The coolest part of the night dive was getting the chance to see an octopus, which actually changed color from a clear to a dark brown to match the rock it was traveling across. We followed it for a few minutes before returning back to the beach to shower and write our blogs for the day. Tomorrow I am really looking forward to the chance to go turtle tagging and try and catch a turtle.