Tag Archives: I’m not Dory I’m a Marine Biologist

Last Full Day at Glover’s Enjoyed, Thoroughly

DAY 7 — Last full day at Glover’s Reef! It’s been real. We had a full morning of snorkeling, in the channel of the atoll, some shallow patch reefs called the aquarium, and around the patch reef off the dock of Middle Caye. Before even getting in the water, we saw a spotted eagle ray from the boat.

In the channel Jordan pointed out some Dendrogyra cylindrus coral, which lived up to its “skyscraper” analogy. I also saw a lot of Parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) and a cute little black fish with electric blue spots. There was a lot of orange icing sponge (Mycale laevis) all around the reefs today.

We rode the boat to from the channel to the aquarium, and the ocean was the color of blue gatorade, not an exaggeration at all. In the aquarium, we saw a nurse shark and I saw a bunch of Christmas tree worms. We also saw a yellow sting ray.

I saw some new species of sponge today! Thanks to Alessi for sharing her camera so they could be captured on film. The Black Ball Sponge (Ircinia strobilina) was scattered around the channel.  They had characteristic apical clusters of oscula and charcoal color. I also possibly saw the Stinker Sponge (Ircinia felix). There were also plenty of Scattered Pore Rope Sponge (Aplysina fulva).


After lunch we had a lecture on anemones, zoanthids, and coralimorphs and another on mangroves and seagrasses. Then we launched into a lionfish (Pterois spp.) dissection. Alessi and I got the most majestic lionfish of the six that Scott caught. We named him Azlan.

A side note: lion fish are a nasty invasive species in the Caribbean. So catching lion fish is an ecosystem service, a fun opportunity for dissection, and an excuse for Scott to whip up some ceviche.

Using NOAA protocol, we weighed, measured, sexed, and dissected the fish. Azlan had recently eaten a juvenile Yellow Wrasse, which we found in his stomach. We compiled our group data and compared it to data collected by a previous EBIO 319 group in 2015.

And then. Island enjoyment! Captain Buck took us over to a nearby island, Marisol, where we enjoyed each other and refreshments. Thanks to a nice smelling fisherman, we were able to procure a shirt to sign. Our EBIO 319 2017 shirt will live on in the small bar on Marisol.

Back at Middle Caye, we ate another delicious meal before presenting our lion fish data analysis and breaking down our quadrats *single tear*

I’m planning on waking up for the sunrise tomorrow for a final taste of paradise, aka Middle Caye.

Day 7- Darth Vader is a Girl

Yellow line arrow crab!

So today we went snorkeling for the whole morning and I finally saw the coolest crab that I’ve been dying to see.  I saw the yellow line arrow crab which looks like a spider with a top hat and gloves on and I love it.  He was missing a pincer and was a little feisty and resistant to being grabbed but it was still cool.


I also saw 4 sharks!!!! I think my life has peaked… Also saw a spotted sun eel which was cool but sharks are better.

In the afternoon we dissected lionfishes that Scott and Javier caught.  I named mine Darth Vader so I wouldn’t feel about cutting it up.  Turns out Darth Vader is an infertile juvenile female, but Darth still tastes great as ceviche!

This was out last day at Middle Caye in Glovers Reef Atoll.  This was the most fun day we’ve had by far and I don’t want to leave, but I am excited for the rainforest.  I want to see some cool birds, but hopefully I can identify them… there are a whole lot of birds so we will see.

Best Day Yet!

We definitely saved the best reef day for last! We went boating all around the atoll and snorkeled all morning. We started at the Channel, and I think it was my favorite reef of the whole trip! I finally got to see Dendrogyra cylindrus.
An AWESOME Dendrogyra cylindrus
I also got to see several Eusmilia fastigiata (Flower Coral) and some massive Acropora palmata. They were bigger than me!
Acropora palmata
Eusmilia fastigiata
After that, we went to a spot called the Aquarium. It was really shallow and easy snorkeling. I spotted a flounder! I also saw my first Montastrea cavernosa. Unfortunately, I never found a Pineapple Coral (Dichocoenia stokesi). Despite that, I had such an amazing time at the reef this week!
The fun didn’t stop after lunch. We dissected the Lionfish that Scott has been hunting throughout the trip. Mikey and I’s had 7 fish in its stomach. It was pretty gross. We compared the size of our fish to the fish that they caught on the 2015 trip.
After analyzing that data, we took a boat to a nearby island and had a wonderful evening on the dock. We could not possibly ask for a more perfect goodbye to Glover’s Atoll. The ocean and sunset were absolutely gorgeous! Tomorrow we’re heading back to the Belize Zoo on our way into the Chiquibul Rainforest!
Ellie and I on the dock, enjoying our last night at Glovers!

Splish Splash, Jordan’s Face Goes Crash (Day 7)

Today was our last day on Middle Caye, so we spent most of it just enjoying ourselves and the reef.

We snorkeled in three different sites in the morning without having  to wield any quadrats or slates. The first site in the channel was amazing, but unfortunately my camera died about ten minutes after we started diving. I saw two species of bubble algae in the aquarium site. Highlights that I couldn’t photograph ( 🙁 ) included a flounder, a Pufferfish, a Queen Angelfish, a Scrawled Filefish, a Yellow Stingray, and a Spotted Eagle Ray.

A Scrawled Filefish (photo credit: Alessi)

I also saw a Gray Angelfish and a lot of Spotlight Parrotfish that I had fun chasing around for photographs.

A big Gray Angelfish.
A Stoplight Parrotfish.

After we finished on the reef, we measured and dissected the lionfish that Scott and Javier had speared this past week, and we inspected their stomach contents. I don’t like dissecting, so luckily Buck, Adolfo, and Therese were all into doing it.

Scott Solomon spearing a Lionfish.

To end today, we took the boat over to the Marisol Resort and enjoyed the advantages of being in a foreign country. So we could leave a shirt on the wall, Alessi bought one off a fisherman’s back. It was a great way to end the marine portion of our trip and to learn more about Adrienne’s true opinions before she leaves us with Turf and Turiez.

Day 7 – It’s already the last night here???

Hi friends,

Wow, and one week has past. It’s a weird feeling of sadness knowing that I’ll leave this place at the same time I’m pretty excited to be checking out the rainforest. What to feel?

We started the day checking out three different reef types: one on the channel, one called The Aquarium and a deep patch reef off Middle Caye. I was expecting The Aquarium to be the prettiest one with the most organism variety but apparently not. The channel reef was the one that impressed me the most, with magnificent stacked coral reefs that looked like mountains underwater. It was fun swimming around and through it observing all the organisms in their natural habitat. I finally got to see a full nurse shark and followed it for a little bit. It exuded silent charisma as it swam about slowly and menacingly. I followed a school of blue tang around for a bit and that was fun too, picking out the non-blue tang species swimming with them.

Nurse shark just chilling on the reef.

In The Aquarium, I was slightly disappointed as the standard was set too high from the first reef. I guess the lack of species variety was due to the shallowness of the area, which prevented the corals from forming intricate structures where species can live in. It was still cool finding new organisms around, and there were many more of my taxon species there compared to the channel reef. I saw a lot more Christmas Tree Worms (Spirobranchus giganteus) and some hugeee Magnificent Feather Dusters (Sabellastarte magnifica). And apparently another nurse shark was hanging out around sipping tea but I wasn’t there to see it.

The Aquarium is pretty shallow as seen here.

In the last deep patch reef, there were only a few patches, but there were similar to the channel reef in that they were very tall and the corals were all big. There was one particularly big one which looked like a comfortable bean bag which everyone took turns taking pictures with.

After lunch, we did presentations and then dissected the Lionfish. It smelled like a fish market for a little bit and I gutted fish for the first time which was fun. We rushed through making the poster to report our findings on the Lionfish measurements as we really wanted to visit a neighboring island, which was the reward for finishing the poster quickly. Eventually we did visit the other island which was a chill time and we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed the last day here. I’m gonna miss the quaint little village which has been my home for the past few days, the relaxed vibes of sun, beach and snorkeling, and last but not least, Clivus. It’s been an unforgettable time for sure. Here I come, Las Cuevas!

Till then,