Day 9: May 23rd 2018, Glovers Reef
Today, we had the chance to wake up a little later today. Breakfast was at 6:45, and we left the Tropical Education Center around 7:45. From there we drove through Belize City into a Marina. There a boat was ready to take us to Middle Caye were we would be staying by Glover’s Atoll.
The boat ride was stunning. The water was a colorful array of blues and greens. The greener the water, the shallower and the bluer, the deeper the water. We passed several small islands, some noticably inhabited, others not. A few hours in, the reef crest of the barrier reef was observable. To our left as the waves crashed over it. As we passed the barrier reef, the water t
urned a dark blue as it got deeper and deeper and the waves became rougher. We then reefed Glover’s atoll with its green sandy reef patches and crossed to arrive at Middle Caye. It was all so relaxing, it was almost as if we were on vacation.
Once we had eaten lunch and settled in, we did our first snorkel. We snorkeled close to the island over seagrass beds and a few patches of coral. I observed several different types hard corals from a finger coral to what appeared t
o be several types of brain coral along the coral patches. I hope to more formally id them using my taxon card later. We also saw a small Yellow Stingray, a baby nurse shark, an upside down jellyfish, and several varieties of fish. Overall snorkeling was fun, but I think that most of us are still getting used to the get and the salt water. After we dried off, we sat in hammocks and at picnic tables to relax, work, and chat. We saw a heron sitting on a tree branch no to far our from where we were, a pelican catching a fish over the water, and some hermit crabs and blue crabs retreating into their holes. I also chased an iguana off.
We ate pasta and meatballs for dinner and then headed to lectures were we learned about Echinoderms, Hard Corals, and Microbial Processes of Coral Reefs. By that point we were all exhausted as we made our quadrat tool for our project tomorrow by placing piping together to form a square and running string through it to create smaller squares inside. After that it was off to bed after along day in our small island paradise. Can we postpone the 29th and stay a while longer?