Day 3: All Aboard the SS Randall (Read for more details!)

Before we could embark on our first exploration of Kaneohe Bay, we began with a boat safety and knot tying lesson from Jason Jones. It turns out, we aren’t all the best at tying knots, but we have 4 weeks to practice.

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After we made it on the boat, we (for obvious reasons) needed a quick photo shoot. We learned how to properly set up the boats that we will be using for the rest of the course. Once the gear and crew were loaded, we left HIMB to spend the day at the northern end of Kaneohe Bay to make observations on reef ecosystems. Our 15-minute ride to Reefs 43 and 42 was filled with views of beautiful mountains in the warm sun and salty air.

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The reefs were teeming with creatures of the sea; vicious, man-eating sharks (not actually LOL), slithering eels, bubbly fish, and cute and cuddly sea turtles (no turtles were actually hugged in the making of this blog post). For many of us, it seemed like this was the most diverse and pristine reef ecosystem that we have had the privilege of exploring, and soon studying. This year, we are all focusing on the Hawaiian green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) for our research projects. Today was our first chance to make observations to formulate our research questions.

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Dinners has been filled with some of the best laughing moments. We are all getting to know each other pretty well, and have even had some WILD guests joining us…and by wild we mean our gecko, Randall (who our house is named after). We’re all hoping he’ll come back to join us again sometime soon. These days are exhausting but the combination of coffee, chocolates, and Maui Onion chips are keeping us going. We are truly enjoying the experience so far, and are looking forward to our developing projects!

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