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Bermuda Field Course 2013 :: Daily Report

Day 04 | Sunday, March 03, 2013

Today we snorkeled at Whale Bone Bay. It was rough to say the least. It was raining, windy, and freezing. We hauled all of our gear on a similar 30 minute walk to the bay, only to discover that it was much choppier than anticipated. To top it all off, there were Portuguese Man O' Wars floating in the waves. These creatures inflate a gas filled chamber that allows them to float above the water and drag their meters of tentacles behind them. Their stings are incredibly painful. I couldn't concentrate on our coral surveying as much as I wanted to because I was scared one would be swept into my face from the oncoming waves. I did finally see an octopus! He was so little and looked right back at us from his crevice. The picture I took doesn't really show him very well, but he is so adorable.  Overall, it was a great experience and it goes to show that science perseveres even through undesirable conditions.  These are the experiences that are going to shape us as scientists and help us to grow in our field.  Being put on the spot to create an experiment at a location that none of us have ever seen has required us to be incredible team players and cooperators.  Groups today surveyed everything from holothurian densities in Whalebone Bay and Ferry Reach Bay, to Coral speciation in the Bay based on substrate.  The various field and statistical analysis techniques that we have learned thus far will provide vital in-field experience that we can take with us on all of our future scientific adventures!

half of the gang getting rained on before snorkeling in whalebone bay

Half of the gang getting rained on before snorkeling in Whalebone Bay

common sea fan (gargoina ventalina) in whalebone bay

Common sea fan (Gargoina ventalina) in Whalebone Bay

snorkeling with the man o'wars

Snorkeling with the Man O' Wars.

trek to whalebone baby -- a magnificent view

Trek to Whalebone Bay -- a magnificent view.

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