...Is something I did this morning at 6:30 am. It was sooooooooooo cool, and a little gross but mostly cool. Today was insane. We jumped in the ocean right as the sun started to rise over the island and swam out to the ship wreak. I watched a green sea turtle swallow up one of the cute jelly's and snapped a couple of selfies with a few of the giant clams.
Today was pretty much eat, swim, eat, swim, eat, swim. Which is exactly how I prefer my days to be! We got to study different types of benthic substrate cover in the reef crest and lagoon. We set out a transect line and used a quadrat to measure the amount of benthic cover types on the sea floor and did a bunch of other sciency stuff, along with standard devations and bar graphs. Learned a lot, and wrote an A+ worthy paper... right Trisha? ;) Also learned that the reef likes to bite you more than the animals do, it took a little go at my knee, I narrowly got away with my life.
We jumped back in the water one more time at sunset to look for some sharkies. We only saw one baby one, but the sunset was off the chain. The sky went so pink and then purple and it was like everywhere I looked was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. There were tons of fish swiming below me and then when I looked up out of the water it only got better. We swam up on a huge loggerhead sea turtle which was the size of a smart car. Just kidding. It was really big though!
Today we also found a one legged grasshopper and named him Lil Sebastan (pictured below). We kept him around for a while. We also poked a large spider with a stick... not so scientific...(also pictured below). And Pat, our incredible chef made us some bomb veggies and cake for dinner tonight. Can't wait for tomorrow and many more days of sliding on sandy wet suits!
After a long grueling journey to the other side of the globe, we have landed at the marvelous Heron Island. So far so good. The birds, adorable. The sunset, phenomenal. We've already seen a few sharks and poked a few sea cucumbers. The boat ride was long so it kinda feels like we are a million miles away from the rest of civilization and I love it! The fish love it too.
A little jet lagged I caught a taxi from the airport to the hostel last night, where the taxi driver then told me of all of her horrifying experiences she had while staying there. A little nervous she pushed me out the door with a fake, "have a great time!". But hey you know what I did! We met a bunch of cool travelers from all over the place. They took me with them wake boarding and to a sweet lake while I waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
We got fitted for our gear today and continued to try and memorize all 7,000 of the little fishies fancy scientific names so that when we talk to them tomorrow they'll want to be our friends. Also side note, I hate America for not using the metric system. We ate chocolate mousse for dessert today so I'm a happy camper! Tomorrow we swim at dawn. It might be cold, but I'm so stoked for the next 2 weeks! Below is a picture from the sunset on the beach in Heron Island tonight and one from the view from the deck this morning at the hostel.