So after a long hard day in the classroom working on GIS on our computers, we got to go back
out into the field for a whopping 6.5 hours (from 9:30 to 4). The day started off quite nice though. The group was all ready to go by about 9:15, we had a little meeting in the kitchen while finishing off a nice batch of regular and banana pancakes without syrup. We discussed where we wanted and needed to go, and decided that reefs 52, 53, 54, 47, and 44 were the winners for the day. After all the reefs, we also had to go to the sand bar and pyramid to pick up the flow balls. So with that in mind, our adventures for the day began.
We headed up to Reef 53, which happens to be one of the reefs closest to the open ocean, to survey it for any existing colonies of Monitpora dilatata. James decided to start freaking Keisha and myself out about sharks, so we booked it in the murky water until we reached the reef which was really no less freaky because it was so deep. The group quickly surveyed the reef and found no colonies.
Reef 54 was right nearby, so we decided to detour over there and pick up any existing flow balls (which only 2 colonies still had). While swimming back, a second encounter with the Portuguese Man o’ War. Lauren got a nice sting on her hand.
Back in the boats, we drove over to a monster of a reef: Reef 52. It took another 20 minutes to actually get in the water because Madi was majorly struggling with the anchor (as she was for the most of the day). Two passes, 8 possible colonies, and two hours later, our exhausted, beat up, moody, and sea sick team flopped back into the boats wanting only to drink some water and take
a nap. The water was quite choppy, so we decided to drive to Reef 47 to eat lunch.
Once refueled and slightly regenerated, we re-anchored a little closer to what we thought were going to be our predetermined coral colonies, but before heading to the reefs everyone jumped out and gathered around for a group photo by the Hinalea. Turns out, at least three of the GPS coordinates that were chosen were incorrect. Keisha, James, and I had to resort to our backup colony while Lauren, Dan, and our guest Yuka (who has been joining us for dinner the last two nights) had to search the Horseshoe shaped reef and find a colony. With the sharp eyes of TA Chris in the field, they quickly found a colony to survey. Next was Reef 44.
It had been quite a long and tiresome day, so the team decided to split up to cut some time. My team journeyed out to Reef 44 to pick up the remaining coral flow balls while the other two groups proceeded on to the sand bar and pyramids to pick up the Lingula group’s flow balls. Finally, at 4 o’clock we all drove into the docks with Madi and me attempting to dock the boats. We did eventually succeed with a few bumps against the dock.
With that day behind us, our wonderful mentors decided to give us the night off to relax which we can actually do now that Christina (and Lauren for the PC users) fixed our internet.
Tomorrow we look forward to finishing our introductions and working on some more GIS.
Signing out for tonight. Have a good night everyone! We’ll talk again soon!