And turtles and sharks and oh yes, coral! This has been an amazing week.The 2010 coral monitoring team arrived a week ago and this Monday we started diving.
Our monitoring protocol calls for a 200 meter transect at each monitoring site. This means a *lot* of swimming and a lot of photos (1 every meter) to be analyzed later.
This is a photo that Anna and Guido took. I am taking the transect photo series along the 200 meter line using our homemade tripod. The tripod that ensures that each photo will be a .5 square meter and that it is taken from a consistent height.
It’s not all “heads down in the coral” though. One day we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins on our way to our monitoring site and on the second dive of the day we were buzzed by a huge manta. We’ve spotted turtles on the transect line and sharks down deep.
Yesterday we encountered two courting porcupine fish (Diodon hystrix), followed by a huge barracuda school performing an elaborate underwater ballet.
In between watching the show, we’ve collected data and photos from 5 sites and hope for 4 or 5 more next week.