Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wednesday 5/21/2014

After breakfast we had a lecture about mangrove ecosystems to prep us for the morning's snorkel.  The whole group snorkeled at two different sites.  The first site was at the only mangrove forest on the island and we got to see a lot of organisms.  In the roots there were feather worm, fire sponge, clams, an arrow crab, two fire worms and different species of juvenile fish.  On the bottom we saw upside down jellyfish, cushion star fish, and a lionfish. 



Alyssa Sechler holding an arrow crab! (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Upside-down Jellyfish in the mangroves (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Feather Duster Worms on mangrove proproots (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Fire Worm - Touch-Me-Not (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Cushion Sea Star in Turtle Grass (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Clams on the mangrove proproots (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Another Cushion Sea Star (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)
 The second snorkel of the morning was at a back reef outside of the marine reserve so we were able to collect things and talk about them on the boat.  To start off we saw an spotted eagle ray swimming near some of the snorkelers.  We spent some time snorkeling around looking for organisms to collect.  Our bucket had a few queen conch, a juvenile diadema, an upside down jellyfish, flamingo tongue snails, a conch fish, a sharpnose puffer, and a blue-headed wrasse by the end of the snorkel.  Jennifer also gathered different species of algae to show to us and explain which ones were healthy to have in the reef and which ones were not. After we were done examining the specimens we replaced them back into the water.

Photo: Riley Zimmerman

Spotted Eagle Ray (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Photo: Riley Zimmerman

Pink Tipped Sea Anemone (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

Photo: Riley Zimmerman

Diadema in our box of stuff (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)

After lunch we had another dive at a site called Green Outhouse.  The divers saw a bunch of green sea turtles and a hawksbill turtle which was very cool. 

We headed right to a rocky shore area on Bailey's Key to check out the zonation.  We saw many different species inhabiting the rocks and the sandy area along the shore. 

Riley Zimmerman holding a West Indian Sea Egg (Sea Urchin)

Sarah Pedrick holding a sea urchin

Sea Urchin in its natural habitat (Photo: Riley Zimmerman)




To finish off the night we had a bbq fiesta with the rest of the resort guests.  Some of the activities included a hermit crab race, limbo, dance competition along with an open dance floor for the rest of the night with some great tunes!

More pictures coming soon!

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