We all work up around 5:40ish before packing up our things to say bye to land for a while. We ate breakfast in the dining room of the TEC and loaded up our things into the van where Eduardo helped up. We drove into Belize City, which looked completely different from the first time we’d seen it. We passed through the neighborhoods and shopping centers of the city before arriving at the marina where we met our captain and water safety officers, Javier and Rose. We loaded up the boat and started the sail to Glover’s.
One of the coolest part of this sail was watching the water change into every shade of blue as we went farther away from the mainland. We sailed for about 3 hours through the water and enjoyed watching the islands and mangroves pass by. The view was tranquil and a huge change from our previous views in the rainforest. We got the chance to talk to Rose, which was really cool because she has one of the coolest jobs.
The water turned a beautiful vibrant turquoise as we entered the lagoon. We drove slowly over the water and could see the sand at the bottom clearly. We docked on the island and unloaded our stuff before getting to see the island. We had a great lunch and got to see our rooms before snorkeling out for the first time. We put on all our dive gear and paired up for our dive teams (I somehow got stuck with Elena I’m about to die in the ocean). We immediately almost stepped on a stingray, so we did great. We went out around the sea grass and a shallow reef to try on our gear, which was a lot of fun.
We got out of the water, showered, and ate a really great dinner with upside down pineapple cake. We went for our first rounds of lectures here with Veronica doing echinoderms and the microbial processes of coral reefs and Kristen doing hard corals. Afterwards, we made our quadrant Bichael using the pvc pipes and string so that we could use it for data collection tomorrow. Afterwards, we all spent time working on our notebooks before turning in.
Corallimorphs, Zoanthids, and Anemones seen today:
It was hard to tell them apart in the reef but I definitely saw a giant Caribbean Corallimorph about 200 ft from the dock in the reefs around the island, surrounded by hard coral. This was pretty expected as this depth is in its range.