Day 9: Got nudibranchs?

Hey all!

Today was totally turtle-tastic as we explored new reef locations around Kāneʻohe Bay. Our teams split up into two boats, with Blue Team heading out to Reefs 36, 45, and 42, and Red and Green team heading towards Reef 25, fringing reef near Reef 25, and Reef 43. After finding Gracilaria salicornia yesterday, we were all hoping for the same success in identifying where the turtles might be having their meals. We also wanted to look more into where the turtles were resting.

Leaving the boating dock from Coconut Island was a beautiful site as we headed out over calm waves and under clear skies. The Bay was even quieter today with much less boat traffic. It was all picture perfect–until we got to the reefs. You can lead a snorkeler to water, but he can’t swim over tall reefs at low tides. Everyone found great difficulty in finding ways to navigate over reefs that were only a few inches from the surface of the water, so most of our exploration was done around the edges of Reef 25 and Reef 36. Despite this, we still saw some turtles hiding in holes and maybe just waiting to go out to brunch.

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At the fringing reefs near Reef 25, Red and Green team found patches of Gracilaria salicornia near the shore and in sporadic patches! Red team also made a new nudibranch friend!

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Reefs 43 and 42 were the most exciting because of all the turtles and sharks that were hanging around. One team even claimed to have seen 13 turtles all on Reef 43! They also saw a “sea turtle cleaning station”, where six turtles were hanging out and letting some reef fish nibble off the algae that clung o the turtles shells! A different team saw some white tip reef sharks cruising around Reef 42 and got close enough to snap some killer pictures! Overall, we all had some great sightings and can’t wait to go out tomorrow!

 

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Yours truly,

Aubreigh!

P.S. Please enjoy these awesome photos we captured today!

 

 

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