Today was another full day here in the Keys. Beginning with a lecture on seagrass beds, we hastily packed up for a morning spent at Triton Flats. There we found corals, macroalgae, spiny lobster, crabs, colorful sponges, and much more. We attempted to leave after two hours at the Flats, but we quickly learned the complexities of the pontoon. Another half an hour passed sitting at the flats in the boats, sharing smiles and passing encouraging words, as our fearless leaders wrestled with the engine to get us home for a tasty lunch of sandwiches.
The afternoon was spent in Lime Tree Bay, where we observed a variety of macroalgae, numerous fish, sponges, and a few inconspicuous spiny lobsters. While most of us struggled even to pursue fish as they swam by at lightning speeds, David Jantz managed to catch a burr fish!
With our second afternoon of snorkeling behind us, we returned home for supper preparations and the anticipated consumption of burritos, quesadillas, rice, and beans. The evening concluded with lab work examining the organisms collected from the day’s two sites and reading the required texts for tomorrow’s lecture. It was, once again, an exhausting and exhilarating day.
– Morgan Short ’17