April 28th 2011

The second day is when we really got down to the nitty gritty. Three dives per day gets us to the limits of our diving protocol while maximizing the data we could collect. We are now diving off of the prince’s private fishing and diving vessel. With towels available after the dives. I have to admit, if it weren’t for the tons of gear and all the data collection underwater I would be hard pressed to call this work. I took an extra buddy down with me today to help illustrate subjects in the photos I intend to take. Hope you enjoy. Lindy Knowles (BNT) and I are tasked with roving diver surveys: we note every fish and coral species we see at each dive location.

image01314 Gumby shows us a black sponge on an algae dominated reef

 

image01415 Leno Davis poses on board the Golden Shadow with the Golden Osprey in the background

image01516 Three survey dives a day is hard work.

image01617 Dendrogyra cylindrus is a coral type not commonly found in other areas of the Bahamas

image01718 Meandrina meandrites (center) and Siderastrea siderea are sometimes overgrown by microdictyon algae (bottom left)

image01819 Sand divers are perfectly camouflaged on the algal reef but can quickly burrow into the sand as well

image01920 Always dive with a buddy 🙂

image02021 This gorgonian and sponge reef had far less algae than other areas.

 

image02122 Sharksuckers seem to be straight out of science fiction, but they are real, and really curious.

image02223 this is a boring sponge (yawn) that invades coral skeletons and eats them from inside out. CREEPY!

image02324 the little polyps seen here enjoy a commensal relationship with the sponge they live in.