So we always hear, don't play with fire, but really it should be don't play with FIRE CORAL (millepora sp)! Or rather don't pick a research site that requires your to swim over shallow water full of fire coral in rough tides.
When we last left off bloggers, it was my first day. I was still writing about the woes of traveling abroad and jet lag. Since then it has been unbelievable the amount of things I have done and learned, like the 20 algae, 33 fish and 31 corals I have a quiz on tomorrow. Its still miraculous though that I have managed to cram 84 new things in my head in the matter of a week in the middle of a tropical paradise.
We have started our independent research too (see second sentence)! Honestly, I never would have thought that getting a zip tie around a halimeda sp. (that's an algae) would be so challenging. But when the tides are ripping you back and forth putting that zip tie on a stationary piece of algae is super difficult. Which brings me to the biggest event of my day today... FIRE CORAL. So I was swimming over the reef in some nasty tides with my research partner and a huge wave comes along and WHAM! the back of my calf goes right into a fire coral and to make matters worse, it turns out I'm allergic and there was some localized swelling. Then the island treatment began, and poring vinegar onto a fire coral sting is NOT the best feeling.
What is the best feeling? Taking all of your previous ecology classes on land, being fairly confident with your terrestrial plants and then discovering that there is a whole underwater world down there under the waves! Since I'm the only snorkeller (not dive certified) I'm a little left out of the dive experience, but just floating on top of the water and looking down is like being a bird in the ocean. I can see almost everything and even some things that the divers don't ;).
So tomorrow is more research and I'm definitely rested enough, so 'Night!