Roatan: Summer 2016

Day 8 - June 11 - Dolphin Swim and REEF survey

As one of the students put it this morning “The days keep getting better”! We started today with a dolphin orientation session, standing waist deep in the water with a trainer and their dolphin. After a 30 min. session, the students got to swim with the dolphins in the two-acre enclosure. They had plenty of contact with the dolphins, including nips, pushes and rubs. The dolphin pod was cranked this morning and ready to play, so everyone got some quality interactions.

The first dive of the day was a REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) fish survey dive. The students identified the various species of fishes present and quantified the prevalence of those species on their data sheet. They will then enter the results on-line with REEF and once they have completed two surveys they will become certified level II REEF fish observers. They have already successfully passed the written exam for this certification.

On the second dive we attempted to do a coral bleaching survey (Coral Watch) at a dive site called “The Fish Den” but the current was a little strong for that, so instead we did a nice tour of the reef. Jennifer (RIMS Director) did her second lecture on Dolphins later in the afternoon and then after dinner we finished our evening with a discussion about the research projects. Tomorrow we will do the two research project dives and a night snorkel on Bailey’s Key.