Today started out with a bang! I woke up at 6:00 to go on an early morning swim with Camp and Edd. The water was completely flat, and stayed that way all day. Any hint of clouds in the sky were reflected off its surface. We swam around the lagoon trying to keep quiet so we would be able to get as close as possible to the ocean critters. We saw all sorts of fish, coral, sea cucumbers, and even a spotted eagle ray and a nudibranch! We swam way past the shipwreck before deciding to turn back for brekkie. It was a nice little workout to get the day started.
After brekkie, we did another outer reef excursion. I felt like today we saw bigger fish and larger schools of them as compared with yesterday where we saw more variety, but smaller fish. Today's waters were deeper as well which gave me some diving practice. The current was also pulling in the opposite way we were swimming which provided for a great workout. I enjoyed being able to get 6 or 7 meters down and swimming among some of the larger schools of jacks and other fish. At one point our class stumbled upon four green sea turtles perched on a massive coral! Saul's keen eyes spotted an octopus blending in with some coral. It was a beautiful and curious creature, changing its texture as it slowly crept back into its cave. There were some underwater canyons which filled me with joy as I swam through. Groupers and parrot fish hid under the shelves of coral which lined the canyon walls. All throughout the coral, the landscape was dotted with cleaning stations where wrasse removed parasites from other fish. I have a special affinity for these cleaning stations and the mutualistic relationships which occur therein. Just as quickly as it started, our outer reef experience came once again to a close.
The rest of the day was spent walking on the beach, learning about the many threats our reef faces and what is and can be done to make reparation, and watching Blue Planet: Coral Reefs, some of which was filmed here on Heron Island. And of course eating many wonderful meals made by Pat. It would be a crime to forget Pat. That's pretty much it. The only thing left for me to do is write another haiku:
Big, blue, beautiful.
Glassy waters ripple slow.
Fragile yet fights on.
Hi there! I'm from a ski town just south of Salt Lake City called Cottonwood Heights. Being so close to the mountains all my life has enabled me to have a deep and meaningful connection with nature. Join me as I learn and experience all that the natural world has to offer!