Yesterday, Nov. 17, was another jam-packed day!
Amy, Maickel, Amanda (coral diversity expert), and I dove twice in the morning and Amy and I collected water samples with the help of Suzelle, Vickie, and Mitch just before lunch.
After lunch, another group of scientists (including me) went on an expedition to the beautiful mangrove system to collect more water samples, test out the DISCO, and to snorkel. We had a great time navigating through the hauntingly beautiful and ethereally gloomy underwater mangrove environment. We saw a few birds, some jellyfish and anemones (that were classified as “creepy” by some of the people on the boat), small barracuda, cool sponges, and two spotted eagle rays! Andrew enjoyed stirring up the sediment and telling us about the hydrogen sulfide that was escaping from the anoxic (no oxygen) mud and Ashlee enjoyed watching bubbles form on the outside of seagrass underwater. No one enjoyed the smell of anoxic microbial metabolism.
We also searched for crocodiles the whole time, but sadly didn’t encounter any (although I am sure my mom is fine with this!). We had to keep telling Mitch that we were looking for crocodiles, not alligators, but after the 20th time, we compromised with him and decided to call these reptiles “crocogators”.
When we got back to the Alucia, I processed water samples for three hours, had dinner, and then played a few rounds of Tiki-toss (also known as ring toss) and corn hole out on the aft deck. We had fun and I definitely improved as time progressed!
No pictures today – I was informed by the IT officer on board that I have been uploading too many photos and sucking away all of the bandwidth from other people. You will just have to wait in suspense until I get back to the States so I can share all of the cool videos and pictures I have taken while on this cruise!
Thanks for reading!