Roatan: Summer 2016

Day 7 - June 10 - Mangrove Snorkel and Dolphin Lecture

We started our morning snorkeling in the mangroves at Man-O-War Key. While the visibility was not great, the group soon saw why the mangroves are so important to the reef. It is the nursery area for most of the reef organisms, and we saw lots of juvenile fish, crabs, and even up-side down jellyfish. After about an hour in the mangroves we headed out to the lagoon area, just inside the reef. Since we were outside the marine park, everyone could collect organisms (to be released later) for show & tell. We rounded up a number of fish species, conch, sand dollars, sea biscuits, fire worms, and a sea cucumber.

After a discussion about each species, they were carefully released back into the wild.

After lunch, we headed out for our afternoon dive at over-heat reef. It was a pleasant dive, with nice coral diversity and lots of fish. At the end of the dive the students had about 15 minutes to settle on the bottom and observe fish behavior. We said good bye to our dive master and boat captain today as we will be getting a new crew tomorrow, so we took a group photo on the bow of the boat. After getting cleaned up, we all headed to RIMS for a talk on Dolphins by Jennifer (Lab Director), as tomorrow the students get their time in the dolphin pen for a one-on-one experience with the resident dolphin pod. After dinner (see picture) there was yet another stimulating lecture about fish behavior and cleaning symbiosis.