Friday – Dude! It’s turtle time!

Friday – Dude! It’s turtle time!

Dana and I greeted every morning with this view. Not bad, right? 

We never had much time to really enjoy it though, and today, Friday, was no exception. Breakast, two dives, lunch, another dive, a lecture, lunch and then presentations. Phew!

After breakfast we took the opportunity to grab another group shot. They are much easier on land than underwater! 

Our first dive was to Harvey’s Fantasy, which was a pretty shallow site. Students were shown a Neck crab, something that’s fairly hard to spot unless you know where to look! 

The second dive was to Bikini Bottom. There were tons of giant barrel sponges, it is simply incredible how large they grow here! 

Dana spotted a Roughhead blenny.

There were also quite a few turtles! Including this one with its two passengers – Remora’s like to attach to turtles and sharks. The Remora’s gain transportation and protection from this relationship, but it appears the host may also benefit as the Remora’s feed on parasites. 

After lunch, we headed off to our third dive at Over Heat. More turtles!

Including this pair that seemed very interested in each other! 

When we returned, we headed to RIMS lecture room, to hear about turtles! We learned that Green turtles and Loggerhead turtles  have disproportioned heads. Students learned about the steps that a female goes through to lay her eggs: she comes to the beach where she hatched, digs a hole, digs the nest, lays the eggs, covers the nest, pats down and camouflages the nest, and goes back to the water. Then the baby hatchlings, use the sand to push the nest upwards, making an elevator out of the hole. We also learned about the various conservation efforts, like the ordinances to keep lights directional or off near nesting beaches. I did not know about how the baby sea turtles followed the most dominant light in the sky.

After dinner, we had our final species presentations. Delaney told us about a different eel, the Chain Moray, while the Hawsbill turtle was the subject of Jamie’s presentation. Sophie delighted us with Whale sharks, which sadly we didn’t see this week, despite us putting out a lot of energy to the world! We finished with Sian’s presentation on the invasive species, the Lionfish.

Some of the students worked on their marine conservation topics, and then it was time for bed.

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