I really love starting off the mornings with a swim in the boat channel. Checking out the life there is just a refreshing way to start off the day. The cool sighting of the day there was a spotted eagle ray that just chilled out by us for a little bit. Not as cool as the turtle yesterday, but still a cool moment.
This was the last day of data collection! It’s kind of a bitter/sweet moment because I actually enjoy going out every day to the same spot and see how things have changed or how they are staying the same. I have grown very fond of a little white tail dascyllus that likes to sit by our reef one, zero meter spot. I think they are my favorite of the little fish. There is also a sharp nose puffer that likes to sit by that site as well. If you don’t know what these guys look like, I highly suggest looking them up. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of these guys yet, but I intend to get them from the footage from my project. Since today was the last day, we had to collect all of the gear from the lagoon. This was about 150-200 lbs of gear 200 meters out from the reef. Imagine swimming that in. Luckily, I have a wonderful teacher and classmates who kindly consented to helping us get all of this back. Thank you, Cassie, Camp, and Ed! We distributed all of the weight between three buckets. Honestly, you cannot tell how much weight it is until its starts sinking the bucket. Let me tell you, it feels like a million bucks to get rid of the bucket though.
The water was pretty rough today. There were even some white caps in the lagoon. This can be concerning because there is coral all around, luckily the tide was high enough that we weren’t getting bashed into anything. There was a kind of heart pounding moment on the way back, bringing the gear in. We swam into a whole school of frenzied large fish. It definitely seemed there was something after them. We didn’t see anything though, and just picked up the pace a little bit.
For my project, I have been leaving a go pro at nine different locations for three hours each day. We have done this for four days, so it is going to be a lot of fish activity to go through. Even in just analyzing the first bit, we have already seen two cowhead stingray, one spotted eagle ray, and a whole bunch of fish. Screen shots of these guys are soon to come! I am really excited to go through this footage this summer. It’s like Christmas because you just don’t know what you are going to get! I am sure my family will love looking over my shoulder at the footage while I am going through it.
Well, it has been a long, good day and I am glad that it is winding down. Field work is done for my project, so now it’s just lab work and video analysis. I’m excited to see what results we get!