Day 8: A hard rain’s a-gonna fall…

 All of the students have taken a turn with the blog.  The remaining posts will be on a volunteer basis — the first volunteer is Julie Huston:

Rain falls on the GRC

Rain falls on the GRC

Editor’s note (5/30): new pictures have been added to yesterday’s post (Day 7)

This morning started at breakfast, inside the cafeteria, pleading with Dr. Kelly and Dr. Carlile not to go out in the rain. After much griping, whining and pleading, the decision was made to stay inside for the morning, during the downpour.  [Editor’s note: honestly, no one was much inclined to be outside during the torrential rains this morning, faculty included.  To tell the truth, we have been really impressed by how little whining and griping we hear and how enthusiastic this group is!]  During this time period, we analyzed and compiled our project data from the last two days, and continued to study our fish, algae, and coral. During the analyzing, we decided to eliminate the component of the project where we tried to figure out which fish ate which algae because it is too difficult to determine in the field. It is hard when a herd of striped parrotfish come into your quadrat and start eating everything in sight. Instead, we are now just counting fish bites and fish species for this component of the project.

Quadrat on a transect line.

Quadrat on a transect line.

Lunch finally came and since we were at the station, we did not have a skewed bread to meat ratio. We did however leave puddles in the cafeteria from where we sat due to the downpour. After lunch, our professors announced what we dreaded, we were going out in the downpour. Luckily, it only drizzled while we were out there. We went out, got our four quadrats done, and got out. For Lauren and I, we saw the most variety of fish bites out of our three days doing the project. We saw bites from beaugregory, stoplight parrotfish, yellowtail damselfish, striped parrotfish, and princess parrotfish. We also saw visits from French grunts and slippery dicks, but they did not count because they are not herbivorous. Although we do not record visits from non-herbivorous fish, it is the thought that counts and they are appreciated nonetheless.

Working in the rain with GRC in the background.

Working in the rain with GRC in the background.

Although we dragged our feet to go out in the field in the rain, we refused to get out of the water once we got there. I compare this to a child not wanting to take a bath, but once they are in, they will not get out. We then proceeded to take showers once back, one in the actual shower, and one in the rain after our shower. Tonight we will be quantifying our algae while breathing in the wonderful aroma of algae, and later, we will be learing some Microsoft Excel tricks and tips. Tomorrow, we will be going a new site for our last day of data collection followed by a trip to a garbage-filled beach to get our buoy. This buoy is important because after every group comes to the GRC, they sign and hang a buoy in the snack bar along with all the other buoys left behind from groups past. We will proudly hang our buoy in the snack bar before we leave on Sunday morning as the University of New Haven Marine Biology Program’s first San Salvador, Bahamas undergraduate group.



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  1. Hi Gang-sounds like you made the best of it today. Me too. The Bahaasair flight was actually EARLY (!!!). It landed in a huge downpour and practically pulled into the terminal. They got everyone off and on in record time and 10 minutes later we were out-a-there. Was raining hard in Nassau too. Rest of trip went smoothly. Wish you the same on Sunday.

    Thanks for the nice comments on the cave and lectures. It was my pleasure. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share “my” island with you…

  2. Christine Pinder Reply May 31, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Well by now you all must have skin like a prune. But what a wonderful experience for each of you. Enjoy the last few days left.

  3. Have fun the remainder of your time on the island. Maybe you will get a day without rain?!?

  4. Sounds like you had a full day of liquid sunshine. Hopefully tomorrow will be a day with out the liquid portion. The new pictures from day 7 are fabulous!!

  5. Just catching up on the blog from the last few days as I had to work all weekend … It sounds like you all made the best of the situation with the soggy weather and are still learning and experiencing so much!