Day 17: Manta “Waves” and South Bay

Day 17 puts our class in the middle of our third week, and we can’t believe our class is almost over! As of today, our Benthic Team is nearly finished with surveys, and Turtle Team is almost there, too. Despite how far we’ve gotten, we still have much more work to do.

Although they still have some temperature data at other reefs to collect, Benthic Team finished up transect surveys today with Reef 34 and Reef 45 in the North Bay, both of which were abundantly covered in Gracilaria sp. Benthic Team got a treat at Reef 45 when their boat captain, Trevor, shouted to the students in the water that there were Manta Rays surfacing near the boat. Since they hadn’t started surveys quite yet, and since Reef 45 was the last for the day, the students took a quick detour to swim over and check out the feeding behavior of the Mantas. From afar, the students could see the Mantas flapping their “wings” and “waving” out of the water. For both the first time viewers and repeaters, this was a fascinating site to behold! Some shouts of excitement may or may not have been heard.

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Up close and personal with a Manta!

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Lunch time for a Manta!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benthic Team enjoyed a nice lunch on the boat before heading back to Moku o Loe. Their afternoon consisted of some help from Dr. Bahr related to discussions on statistical tests and ArcGIS work they would need to do. Afterwards, they headed back to the dorms to input more data for analyses later this week.

 

 

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At the opposite end of Kāneʻohe Bay, Turtle Team hung out in the South Bay and around Paepae o He’eia Fishpond to do turtle counts. Sadly, South Bay was a bit murky and visibility was poor. Despite this, the Turtle Team got to see a rare Hawksbill Turtle at Lilipuna Pier during their surveys! Turtle Team also got to talk to Dr. Bahr, and they received some very helpful advice on mapping turtle locations across Kāneʻohe Bay.

 

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Tonight, both teams will come back together in the dorms to enjoy some tasty baked penne with vegetables!

 

-Aubreigh

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