19 August 2009

Mangroves and SCUBA News

Yesterday we went out in the boat with Marta, the SFS-TCI Research Associate, and two of her friends who are visiting from Italy. We explored an area off the coast by the SC airport, where there is actually a plane that crashed into the water a few decades ago. It was low tide when we were there so the plane was almost completely visible. This spot, however, is not to be confused with one of our dive sites, known as "The Plane", where a different island-hopper went down several years ago and lies about 60 feet below the surface near the SFS center.

While we were out by the plane (not The Plane) we visited the nearby mangroves and saw a handful of baby lemon sharks feeding in the seagrass beneath them. Until hurricane Ike hit South Caicos last year, Marta had been researching lemon sharks, and she gave us a great lecture on how they breed and what they eat, and when they travel from one area to another. After a short walk through the mangroves, we got back into the boat to continue on our tour only to discover that the boat battery had died. So... we called for a tow (which isn't as easy during the intersession break as it might have been during the semester when there are more people around and a staff person is assigned to radio duty), broke out the apples, oranges, water, and sunscreen we brought with us, and kicked back in the boat to wait. We eventually did get a tow and made it back to the center a few hours later, tanned and tired, but safe and happy to have been rescued!

On a sidenote, I'm always a little slower to post my blog entries than Brett is, but I have some exciting "diving news" as well. On Monday I completed my open water course, and am now a certified diver! (Not an Advanced Diver or a Deep Diver, yet anyway, but a diver nonetheless.) And on my very first certified dive to a site called "Troy's Dream" on Monday, I saw a spiny lobster, a few 4-eyed butterfly fish, about 5 or 6 pederson cleaner shrimp, what I think was a spotted trunkfish, a gigantic channel clinging crab, and 2 sharp-nosed puffers (my favorite!). And of course a ton of other beautiful fish and interesting creatures that didn't make the cut this time to be individually named.

I may not be writing for a little while after this post. Tomorrow I leave for SFS headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts where I'll go through an 80-hour Wilderness First Responder first aid course. I've been through the course once already, but my certification expired a few months ago. Fortunately, Salem is close to Boston and so I'll get to spend my (very limited) time off with my sister, who lives there, and then my parents who are driving up from Philly at the end of the week. Civilization, here I come!

No comments:

Post a Comment