Sunset on a Day of Data

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  ?????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????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!

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Working out the Kinks

???????????????????????????????We spent the day working out the kinks in our research Plan.  Discovered that waterproof paper wasn’t so waterproof and that laying down transect lines presented more challenges than we imagined!  Tomorrow we collect our first round of data.

The internet here is incredibly slow and often unavailable….we will do our best to keep blogging….but don’t worry if we aren’t active on this site!  Rest assured that we are active and doing well!??????????????????????  Above is a white-spotted file fish – a new species for us all!

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We left in 8 degree temps and arrived in St John to 80!  Quite a welcome change for us all.  The day was a long one – starting at 5:30 a.m. ride to airport and ending with an 8 p.m. arrival at VIERS.  Everyone felt as though we were returning home again!  We were all very exhausted and headed to bed by 9:30 p.m.  Can’t wait to put our toes in that Caribbean ocean!

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Beautiful rainbows greeted us at the airport!  We are

Home Again After a long long day of travel!

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It takes a group to construct a Transect Line….the Adventure Continues….2015 in the Caribbean

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Half of Caribbean Crew of 2014 is back and dreaming of blue oceans and sunny skies.  We are returning to St. John in the hopes of gathering some baseline data on coral, fish diversity and the benthos at a couple of sites (Great Lameshur and Leinster Bay).  We’ve been building the equipment we will need for sampling – including these 10 m transect lines.  We will be describing our continuing adventures and research on this site and hope you will join us on our journey.

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