Day 13: I Have Recovered from my Crustacean Blindness

It was absolutely pouring this morning when we woke up. We had to wait out the rain and wound up doing our presentations in the morning. When the rain died down, we walked out to the fossil corals again as well as the mangroves to collect trash off the beeches. Honestly, it was pretty depressing. We were collecting data on what types of trash were on each side of the island and how much, but I definitely just wanted to clean the beach. There were so many bottles and shoes and random pieces of styrofoam; it was really sad. We found way more trash at the mangroves, but that was mostly because we were counting the number of pieces and the pieces at the mangroves were much smaller.

On a happier note, we spent the afternoon snorkeling through a few different reefs. There were way more fish than we’d seen at the other spots we visited. Scott found a big lobster just like yesterday and I could sorta see it, but it was definitely mostly just darkness, then he found two yellow arrow line crabs which I sorta saw the antennae also but didn’t really see. Scott accused me of crustacean blindness and made fun of me for being the only person on the trip who doesn’t need glasses (which is true, 20/20 vision for the win). Then I found my own yellow arrow line crab and was super excited.

We then saw a bunch more hermit crabs running around on the sand, one of them was in a huge conch shell.

I think one may have been another star eye crab, but I’m not sure. I also found a small yellowish shrimp that wasn’t in our reef creatures book and another Caribbean spiny lobster. I overcame my crustacean blindness!

We also saw a lot of other cool species swimming around. There were these red fish with giant black eyes that Andressa referred to as devil fish that are actually called squirrel fish.

We also found another lionfish that we’ll dissect tomorrow. The most exciting thing we saw was a giant nurse shark. It was just chilling on the bottom of the reef. It was maybe six feet long and absolutely beautiful. It had a water bottle tied to its fin though, which felt thematic, but also really sad.

We thought about trying to remove it, but we didn’t have anything to cut whatever it was tied with and we didn’t want to get too close to the shark.

Tonight we stayed up late to finish our poster on the trash and then to write our blogs and notebooks. This trip has been so great and I’ve loved getting to know all these people and spend so much time with them.

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