This morning, I woke up to light shooting straight into my eyes from the window next to where I was sleeping. At first, I was a little upset but that was until I realized it was the sunrise. The sun was starting to peek out from behind the horizon and it was a deep red color. It looked fantastic over the water. Then I saw that it was 5:30 a.m., and I quickly went back to sleep.
Our goal for today was to become comfortable collecting data in an ocean setting. So, a little bit after breakfast we had some practice on land. We visited a coral graveyard (don’t worry, there weren’t any ghosts) where we tried to find out the percentage of “live”(it was dead) coral covering the ground. We utilized some of the same strategies/techniques which we’ll be using in the water. While in the graveyard, I tried to find dried out starfish or urchin tests but I didn’t have any luck.
After lunch, we were able to put this practice to use when we actually got out into the water and conducted a survey. We surveyed an area of mostly seagrass as well as one which was a good mix of grass and algae. We looked at the percent coverage of grass and algae in the two areas, and it was a great way to get used to collecting data in the water. It was pretty awkward at first, but I’m sure it’ll become easier with time.
I didn’t see any echinoderms today, except I thought I saw a Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber when we swam over to a small reef after our survey exercise, but unfortunately I didn’t. Depending on the weather, we might be heading out to some patch reefs tomorrow, so I have a good feeling I’ll finally get to see some echinoderms. Fingers crossed!