09 August 2018

Day 5 – Turtle Lovin’, and other aquatic animal observations

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The day began wet – the evening was riddled with thunder storms that kept many of us awake. The dawn was behind the clouds and the beginning of the dolphin observations were rainy. Some of us got to sleep in a little bit longer because our groups split up for data collection sessions – some watching dolphins and others assessing biodiversity over seagrass. Mike never meets a stranger, even when he’s doing research. The visitors at Baileys thought he was one of the RIMS staff; he greeted folks with a smile. Grant and Soledad’s group kayaked and snorkeled in an effort to videotape the sea grass for the biodiversity study. (Can you tell the morning was data-collection-filled?!)
Some of us spent about 7 hrs today at Bailey’s Key (specifically under the Palapa) observing the before, during, and post encounter behavior of the dolphins.
Lunch was delicious today!!
After lunch, some of us watched the video data from the morning – there were lots of interesting (weird) sounds. Paige believed the sounds were quite odd.
Dory was making MUCH chatter most of the day, mostly above the water surface. She sounded almost like a human baby. Also, Dr. D’s footage showed all the dolphins today – i.e., she saw everyone and everyone was on video. Mrs. Beasley seemed quite stoic.
Soledad was Dr. D’s kayak chauffeur for data collection of the sea grass video along the east side of Anthony’s Key. (Soledad was a strong kayaker and the ride was quite smooth!)
We had a sea turtle conservation talk this afternoon and we learned quite a bit about them – they don’t have teeth; they lay 3-5 clutches of 80-100 eggs, and more. We were introduced to the Arribada conservation project in Costa Rica – it was amazing to learn how many eggs actually hatch (only 12%!).
Sam speaks for all of us as she says we are anticipating tonight’s fiesta evening event!
This morning’s session included some rain and Emily’s paper got wet but she saved the information on it!
Jesus mentioned that overpopulation is not just a problem for humans but is also an issue for other animals, like Olive Ridley’s turtles in Costa Rica.
Gonzolo enjoyed watching Dr. Owen win the Name Game during a few minutes of down time while we waited for Dr. D to set up the video for review.
Tonight is the fiesta – we’ll learn about the Roatan culture and enjoy a picnic buffet and some other festivities!
Cheers,
St. Mary’s Snorkelin’ Snakes

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