The day began with a dark run for 5 of us and a sunrise swim for 4 of the runners plus 2. After paddling around in the blue ocean watching the sky change colors convinced all of us that everyday should begin this way. After a breakfast of pancakes we grabbed our gear and hiked down the muddy road to Great Lameshur for our first permanent transect data collection. The fish team (Renee, Felicity, Caleb and Sam) needed to swim 6 thirty meter transects identifying and sizing all fish within those transects. The coral team (Natasha, Ashely, Jentry, and Mae) needed to identify and size all coral that was within a meter of either side of their 10 meter transect lines. Finally the benthic team (Brit and Natalie) needed to categorize what was under each 10 cm mark on a 10 m transect line. The coral and benthic team spent lots of time diving!
Our sampling site was probably 1/3rd of a mile from shore – so after a long rather cool swim we were finally able to start our data collection. It was a challenge particularly after more than an hour and a half in the water, but all were willing in the name of science! We pulled out on a small pebble beach to warm up before the long swim back to shore – those warm rocks were scrumptious! We are back in camp and grabbed a moment when the internet was functional to post some pics. (Above sunrise swim club, off to collect data, butter hamlet, Felicity and those rocks, Hawksbill sea turtle).
We are resting a bit and plan to hike to Ramshead for the sunset and then a night snorkel in Blue Cobblestone. Hope to collect some tourist data at Saltpond along the way….will add more if we can!