21 Jan – Hamburgers Invade Jamaica

So there are three days left here in Jamaica. The nerves
everyone has for their projects ending and starting up school the day after we
get back are beginning to show. Yesterday everyone was running around getting
their data ready for their third presentation update. The morning hindered some
people’s plans because of the torrential down pour.  Melanie’s project, calculating the effect of
sunscreen on sponge filtration rates, required more hands than she has. So my
morning consisted of taking pictures, and starting a stopwatch to calculate the
flow rates. After lunch my partner and I went for a swim out to the reef crest
because we couldn’t poke sponges until 3. I saw two cuttle fish and collected
sea biscuits. We also saw a flounder, balloonfish, and even some squirrel fish
because of the low light from the weather.

Blog pic 2

Two cuttle fish! [Ed: or possibly squid]

                We
poked our sponges and the attachment is increasing, unfortunately the most
attachment is happening on garbage. During our first poking the purple sponges
were the most attached but after yesterday the yellow sponges took the lead. We
were working on the power point when one of the guys came in with grocery bags.
The guys have been craving hamburgers and now in the last few days they finally
did something about it. The dive master, Anthony, was kind enough to take one
of them to get hamburger meat and buns. They waited until after the
presentations to start grilling. When the grilling came to an end, everyone
moved to the dock because a bunch of us were going night snorkeling. I saw two
different species of octopus, an eel, a bunch of squirrelfish and balloonfish,
and a barracuda that came at Amber and me as soon as we shined the light on
him. The excitement ended with a freezing cold shower and the thought that
school starts in less than a week.

-Allegra

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