Tag Archives: Day 9

Day 9: The horrors of the Mangroves

Today we made our way to Glover’s Reef research station. As we were waiting in Belize city for our captain to arrive, the smell was unbearable, but the scenery was great. Lots of marine debris were along the coastal line. Applied lots of sunscreen since I did not want to get burnt, and I didn’t get burnt since I sat near the front under the hood. On the boat ride to Glover’s, the open water was very “choppy”. I was sleeping when suddenly I woke up to a loud bang. That bang being my head against the hard seat. Great way to wake up!

We went for our first swim today in full gear and let’s just say it was a rollercoaster for me. I put way too much sunscreen on my forehead and that was a bad idea since it started to flow down into my eyes while we were swimming! It hurt so bad to the point where I could not open my eyes for a bit. So that was scary. Other than that, I enjoyed our first swim!

On our second “swim” I saw a Christmas tree that Amanda had pointed out. That was the one annelid that I really wanted to see since I knew they would be seen here in Belize. I also saw a Variegated feather duster that was on top of a rock near some coral. These feather dusters were the exact image on my taxa id cards, and also very small. Now that I have seen the annelid I wanted to see; I hope that I will find a Split-crown feather duster.

The bugs got me good today. Even away from the Chiquibul, I still manage to get bit by bugs. As were walking through the “Mangrove of death”, literally death, lots of sand flies were on me and they sure got me good. I ran through this, yet still got over 20 bites! Even on the way back, I accumulated more bites on my back and legs! Let’s hope that we do not encounter that area again or else I might not be home next week. See you tomorrow?

Left pic: view as we were pulling in. Right pic: just running through the mangroves.

Day 9: We made it to Glover’s Reef!

5/22/19: Today, we made it to Glover’s Reef! It was a three-hour boat ride to get here, and I must say I was not really a fan. It was overall just a long ride in the sun with a slew of bumps along the way that made me a little seasick. I have found out “Boats are not for Bella.” But, the site of Glover’s made it all worth it. The beautiful clear blue water is something I have never experienced before. It almost seemed unreal and too picturesque. Of course, I could do without the sand flies and mosquitos waiting to feast on my blood, but alas, even paradise is not perfect.

My view from a hammock underneath the main office at Glover’s Reef Research Station

We started the day at Glover’s by taking a tour of the island and testing out our water gear. At first, we struggled to get acquainted with our new environment, but we figured it out. The water was pretty choppy today due to high winds which made things a bit harder. However, we were able to start looking at our first reefs and I think now it is confirmed that the ocean has a special place in my heart. Growing up on the Texas coast, the beach atmosphere usually feels like second nature to me, but this took it to a whole new level. It was actually startling to see what I had seen on television for years (thank you David Attenborough) in real life.

My attempt to take a picture (The current was pretty strong wading) of the watercress algae in sandy areas between corals.

Today, I was able to see a few different species of algae. On the leeward side of the island, I saw Halimeda opuntia or Watercress algae in between the corals, and I saw Three Finger Leaf Algae or Halimeda incrassitoria that was inhabiting the shallow sandy area near the leeward coast. I am hoping as we spend more time in the water tomorrow that I am able to see more species of algae—my hope is for some green grape algae (Caulerpa racemosa).

Wish me luck!


At Glover’s Reef (I)land

Today, I woke up and packed up my things in preparation for going to Glover’s. We left the Tropical Research Center and began the drive to the marina. The drive was only an hour to Belize City and once we got there we pulled up to a casino, that had the marina and dock behind it. We all boarded the boat and had a three-hour boat ride to the research station.

On the boat ride, we met Javier and Rose, who are going to be our marine safety officers. I also was able to see the beautiful ocean water changing colors as we got further from the mainland and closer to the island.

We finally arrived at Glover’s and got settled and a toured the island. Then got ready for our first time snorkeling in the water. We swam over the sea grass near the dock and saw a yellow-spotted stingray and upside-down jellyfish. After practicing we headed back to the dock on saw a really tiny baby nurse shark, which was adorable.

On the reef patch, I saw a bunch of corky sea fingers on the edge of the patch, as well as common sea fans, which all varied in sizes and shades of purple throughout the patch. I’m so excited to spend the next week here!

The 29th Has Been Postponed

Day 9: May 23rd 2018, Glovers Reef

Today, we had the chance to wake up a little later today.  Breakfast was at 6:45, and we left the Tropical Education Center around 7:45.   From there we drove through Belize City into a Marina.  There a boat was ready to take us to Middle Caye were we would be staying by Glover’s Atoll.  

The boat ride was stunning. The water was a colorful array of blues and greens.  The greener the water, the shallower and the bluer, the deeper the water.  We passed several small islands, some noticably inhabited, others not.  A few hours in, the reef crest of the barrier reef was observable. To our left as the waves crashed over it.  As we passed the barrier reef, the water t


urned a dark blue as it got deeper and deeper and the waves became rougher. We then reefed Glover’s atoll with its green sandy reef patches and crossed to arrive at Middle Caye. It was all so relaxing, it was almost as if we were on vacation.  

Once we had eaten lunch and settled in, we did our first snorkel. We snorkeled close to the island over seagrass beds and a few patches of coral.  I observed several different types hard corals from a finger coral to what appeared t


o be several types of brain coral along the coral patches.  I hope to more formally id them using my taxon card later.  We also saw a small Yellow Stingray, a baby nurse shark, an upside down jellyfish, and several varieties of fish.  Overall snorkeling was fun, but I think that most of us are still getting used to the get and the salt water.  After we dried off, we sat in hammocks and at picnic tables to relax, work, and chat.  We saw a heron sitting on a tree branch no to far our from where we were, a pelican catching a fish over the water, and some hermit crabs and blue crabs retreating into their holes.  I also chased an iguana off.  

We ate pasta and meatballs for dinner and then headed to lectures were we learned about Echinoderms, Hard Corals, and Microbial Processes of Coral Reefs.   By that point we were all exhausted as we made our quadrat tool for our project tomorrow by placing piping together to form a square and running string through it to create smaller squares inside.  After that it was off to bed after along day in our small island paradise.  Can we postpone the 29th and stay a while longer?