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:
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.
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.
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.