After a day off from the reed and a tasty breakfast featuring coconut french toast, the crew headed out for our last day on the reef with the Lucky Devil 2 and Captain Sebastian. We headed back out to Coral Gardens where we anchored for the entirety of the snorkel. Since there hasn’t been much wind for the last couple of days, the visibility was great.
Almost immediately after hoping into the sea, most students were able to see two huge spotted eagle rays, with at least 6 feet across wingspan. There were lots of brain, staghorn, elk and brain corals to be seen and plenty of places to explore. It was exciting to see so much healthy staghorn and elkhorn coral because they are the most susceptible to damage from storms and snorkelers, and have been largely eliminated in many popular snorkeling spots such as the Bahamas.
A large school of over 200 blue tang, ocean surgeonfish and, bermuda chubs were seen cruising the reef. Other notable finds were french angelfish, rock beauties, squirrelfish, reef squid and nurse sharks.
Tonight for dinner we were lucky enough to eat oceanside with a nice breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay. The Ak’bol kitchen prepared us a delicious local meal with chicken enchiladas, corn soup and homemade coconut ice-cream with hot fudge to top it off!
After dinner we gathered on the pier for class to discuss the days’ finding and complete the daily organism blitz, where in pairs students state an organism seen that day, without repeating previous organisms used. Tomorrow we will be headed to Shark-Ray Ally and a sunken Shrimp Trawler with Bigs and company.