Day 18: Field Problems irl

Today was another early day for the turtle team, meaning it required us waking up at 5:30 and heading at 6:30. This is not an easy thing to do when you have spent the last three weeks swimming for hours everyday, and then going back for lecture and finally working on the report.

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                                              Here you can see a Nudibranch hiding in a crevice photographed by the benthic team

We started out the day at Reef 28 in the beginning of north day. It was a cold and windy morning so everyone suited up in their wet suits and jumped in. There was not too many turtles to be seen here, so it did not take to long to finish. After this we moved on to Reef 25. in total we spotted 23 turtles here! a surprising amount compared to the other reefs we had been surveying. During this time, the benthic surveying team was having their own troubles. In one of their transect points where they had to place a quadrat there was a large and deep gap in the reef which the quadrat could have easily slid through.  Now it seems like you would just move to the next transect and skip over it, but this would nit be right. In order to be good scientists, we knew to get accurate and reliable data we had to copy the methods exactly the same way every time. So, being smart and intuitive students , the benthic team was able to rig up the quadrat to the float so it hovered just above the reef without slipping in. Maybe not the most scientific way, but it worked thankfully without losing our quadrat. Back to the turtle team, we had finished surveying reef 14 and the “thumb” of the sandbar where we found very little turtles and nothing else to out of the ordinary.  The last spot we went to was just outside of Paepae ‘O He’eia fish pond. In total here we spotted something around 10 turtles. I was even able to spot a He’e or day octopus basking on a rock about 15 feet down before it inked and fled away to a new crevice where it would not be disturbed. Later in the day, the benthic team scared out a white tip reef shark which can be seen below.

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