Today again got off to a lazy start with an 8:30 AM breakfast. We had a big day planned of collecting data for our research project so I was glad to get a few extra hours of sleep. The topic my group and I have decided upon is to determine the correlation between fish size and how far away they travel away from patch reefs at high tide. The reason for this is to hopefully better understand predator prey interactions as the primary reason for fish not venturing far away from their home is because of the threat of being eaten. After an informative lecture of the threats facing the Great Barrier Reef, my group and I gathered up all the gear we would need for the project and set out to research beach. We used four transect lines and four gopro cameras to film different patch reefs and capture the fish as they moved around them. As we were setting up, a massive black tip reef shark came to investigate what we were up to and we ended up seeing him multiple times throughout the day. We finally collected all the data we needed and headed back for the lab. After lunch we began the tedious process of watching through hours of film, categorizing and recording the sizes of lots of different fish. We still have plenty more footage to go through so that should keep us busy for the next couple days. We joined the rest of the group for dinner and decided to call it a day on our research project.
The last couple days I have been bugging my professor Ed to take me out on a night snorkel because its something that Ive always wanted to do. Tonight he informed me that he had charged up the necessary dive lights to undergo the snorkel and told me to be suited up by 8 PM, well after the sun had gone down. The two of us set out and it was better than I couldve imagined it. Its seriously an unparalleled experience floating out to sea with the only visibility coming from one beam of light. It was honestly a pretty scary experience but we were able to see two MASSIVE loggerhead turtles, a wobbygong shark, and a squid that played around with us for a bit.