Day 14: May 28th 2018, Glover’s Atoll
Not going to lie, today was a nice break and conclusion to our time at Glover’s Atoll. We’ve done and seen some amazing things here, but I don’t think anyone complained about the extra time to nap and get organized for the trip home tomorrow. We woke up again for breakfast at 7 and lounged around until 9. Do you still count it as a nap if you sleep again right after breakfast?
At 9, we pulled out the lionfish that Scott had speared over the last few snorkels (lionfish are an invasive species). It was time to dissect them! We measured weight, length, standard length, mouth height, and mouth length. We also determined sex, reproductive capability, and the stomach contents of each lionfish. The idea is the data can be provided to NOAA to be referenced by anyone who needs it in the future. It can be used to determine the current status and spread of lionfish, as well as predict future population statistics.
After we dissected all the lionfish, Scott and the kitchen made ceviche from the fillets which we all got to try. It was surprisingly good, especially since we had just dissected it. After that, we rested until lunch which was chicken, pasta salad, and salad. We then cleaned up the areas we had been working in as to prepare for tomorrow. After that, it was free time. While some people went to snorkel, a few of us stayed back and dug a hole in the sand. We then proceed to place about 25 hermit crabs inside along with an empty shell. I actuality, I was hoping to see a shell exchange, but it was more like a hermit crab prison. We eventually let them go, and we laughed as it appeared to be a scene from the Exodus as they all fled as fast as they could in the opposite direction from us. Its odd, but I was so happy that I didn’t realize how happy I was until we filled in our hermit prison hole. I guess I’m just in my happy place here.
After, we boated out to Southwest Caye to explore another island and fulfill a final Ebio 319 tradition. We all signed a rice shirt and placed on the wall of the bar hut on the island. After plenty of talking and exploration, we boated back home to catch dinner before it was over. After, Scott led meditation on the pier and we placed our dive lights in the water to observe any fish that were attracted to it (although we didn’t see much).
Today was more like a vacation than anything. We’ve all been so tired, it was a reward for us all after a long and challenging last two weeks. Unfortunately, it also makes us want to leave even less.