17 Jan PM2 – At the Crest.

At the Crest.

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An Upside-down Jellyfish, Cassiopea Frondosa.

Since my arrival at Discovery Bay Marine La, or DBML, I've seen things that I'd never even seen before. things like "Upside-down Jellyfish", Fireworms, and Sea hares, to name a few. Everything is so intricately designed. Corals of every color of the rainbow, fish with tiger stripes and polka dots. These things may seem like mere decoration to us could mean the difference between getting eating or being left alone to them. Today we decided to take a swim out to the reef crest. As we neared the crest we noticed that it had gotten a bit rougher than when we had first left.

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The reef crest, with waves crashing.

The water was getting shallower and the current was getting stronger, and I had to use all of my energy not to get knocked into a Long-spined Sea Urchin. Once we got ove the crest, there was an immediate drop-off. Right away I noticed organisms that don't, and couldn't, live closer to the DBML. Brain coral was there in abbundance, along with Elk-horn Coral and long chains of Saucer-leaf algae. Large schools of fish darted through and around the large mounds of coral, the coral providing pretection against large predators. On my swim back I was confronted by a large Spotted Eagle Ray, but as soon as it saw me it lazily swam in the opposite direction. It truly is amazing to see the enormous biodiversity that can occur in such a small section of reef.
 
–Tim
 

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