Roatan: Summer 2016

Day 3 - June 6 - Maya Key

After a pretty good storm last night, the seas were calm this morning for our trip around to the other side of the island.  Our first dive on the south side was in a fringing reef area close to shore.  Labeled markers were put out that had the names of the different corals written on them.  The students swam around to the labeled corals so they could learn to identify them on sight.  After that, we took a tour of the reef and saw a nice sized green sea turtle, along with other interesting organisms.  After surfacing, we headed to Maya Key for lunch and a tour of the Wildlife Rehab Facility.  Numerous tropical birds species, native cats (pumas, jaguars, ocelots and the like), and monkeys are held there.  Since the seas were still calm we were able to go to a dive site that is reserved for scientific divers only, a place called Smith Banks.  It is most likely the last remaining area in the Caribbean with a healthy Staghorn Coral population (now an endangered species).  It was a spectacular dive and everyone got what maybe a once in a lifetime experience.

After dinner, the students enjoyed a stimulating lecture on coral reproduction and life history, then off to bed.