today’s general agenda: travel to Glover’s Reef —> Test snorkeling —> scavenger hunt —> presentations!
On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being “I’M fREaKinG oUT aHHHH,” I think today was definitely an 8.
After three long hours on the boat, we arrived at Glover’s Reef Research Station either a shade tanner or burnt. We got to meet Kenneth, the station manager, Annett and Jamel, our cooks, and Herbert and Javier, our guides. We also had the greatest pleasure of meeting CLIVUS, the water-less, composting toilet. Because the station is predominantly powered by wind and solar power, we had to be extra mindful of energy we consume.
Now that we’re at Glover’s, I have shifted gears and am now the “sponge” expert. Without much delay, we got suited up in our snorkel gear to test our gear and explore a nearby patch reef. Everything seemed fine until my gear started to malfunction. My snorkel tube would randomly close, preventing me from breathing smoothly. I was surprised how easy things can spiral downwards. I accidentally drank saltwater and I could feel myself get progressively more dehydrated. Luckily, we got back to shore and fixed my gear. In situations like these, I realized just how important it is is to remain calm.
Later today, we got to explore some coral colonies in shallow water. Sadly, I did not see any sponges today, but it was definitely exciting seeing corals for the first time. Moving forward, I am hopeful that my snorkeling experience will improve and there will be more sponges!
Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Belize