I can’t believe that today is our last full day in Belize. While I am excited to take a warm shower and have clean clothes, I am also incredibly sad that this amazing experience is coming to an end.
Today’s activities began with a snorkel in the sea grass beds and back reef on the left side of the island. Even before the swim started, I saw two species of piscivorous fish at the dock: a small nurse shark swimming about, and a school of needlefish. Once on the back reef, I also saw French grunt, bluestriped grunt, squirrelfish, and a very cool houndfish that was about two feet long.
During this morning snorkel, we also collected a bunch of samples of different organisms in order to be able to look at certain species more closely. The only piscivorous fish collected was a poor French grunt that had accidentally been speared during an attempt to catch an invasive lionfish.
After analyzing some coral monitoring data from yesterday, we got to dissect lionfish! My group’s lionfish was quite small, but still cool to look at. The fish are being made into ceviche as I write this!
We ended the day with a visit to another island of Glover’s atoll, Southwest Caye. It’s amazing how little of this amazing environment we’ve been able to see, even with a whole week of exploring. Guess we have to come back!