Today we went for some more dives starting bright and early. As much as I love the dives, I wish they didn’t have to be 8 in the morning (I am in central time but it still feels early).
There is a storm coming in tomorrow (hopefully it just stays a small storm with rain!) but the waves and surge was crazy! I have never seen waves so tall in my life- it was cool and sea sickening. For the first time in my life, I experienced sea sickness- it was terrible. Staring at the horizon helps, but just not enough. The best thing was getting back in the water so I wasn’t a sitting duck rocking and rolling with the surface waves. However, the surge underwater was very strong! If I was swimming against the current I felt like I was going nowhere. It was cool to see the surge really moving the soft corals back and forth, but not so cool pushing me around 40 ft down.
Coral identification is going really well! Going out on the dives and seeing the coral in person (rather than on my computer screen) is extremely helpful. I am able to look at the identifying characteristics and actually see what they look like. This coral is called Orbicella annularis also known as the “Lobed Star Coral.” Each lobe you see in the picture is actually all connected in the carbonate structure and makes up the 1 coral colony! This is what amazes me the most with the corals- they are animals and they can be so spread out and large but still just one colony.
We have on worked on corals for 1 week and as cool as I think they are (it is a new coral fondness), I think I am ready to move on– maybe to identifying common reef fish species?? They are some of the coolest animals that make up the reef ecosystem! Here are some more fun pictures that I was able to take while diving today, hope you enjoy 🙂