16 Jan AM – Moving Right Along

Our stay here in Jamaica is now more than halfway over… I am not very excited about this, I wish I could stay here forever it is such a beautiful country. Our projects have been coming along nicely with some occasional failures… but hey, a wise man once said “success is measured by the number of failures” so I think we’re doing alright.

Nicole and I have been going out twice every day to collect brittle stars for our project. We then measure them and calculate their velocity which allows us to see if there is any correlation between velocity and predation, so far no leads on whether there is any correlation… but we will continue to test.

Banded arm
A banded-arm brittle star.

As I do my own project with Nicole I also help Celeste and Fardina collect jellyfish for their project. You would think this is easy… but it’s not. The only good place to find them is in the mangrove, which is hard to access at low tide, so we stick to the lagoon and search the sand flats. The first few days we found some in the flats and we went down and picked them up, but getting them in the collection bag is quite difficult and it resulted in getting stung by them… everywhere.

Cassiopia frondosa
An upsidedown jellyfish (Cassiopia frondosa).

1/13/12 We woke at the crack of dawn and headed for Rio Bueno, don’t ask me why it’s called Rio because I did NOT see a river anywhere… [Ed: There was a river there.] however it was quite early and maybe I just missed it or something. However, Rio Bueno was a beautiful place, a bunch of us snorkeled while the rest went diving. It was about 20 feet deep or so (again, I couldn’t tell) down to the reef and there were defined grooves and spurs along the reef. These grooves and spurs allow for the displacement of water relieving the energy from the corals. As we swam away from the boat we came upon a wall, this is where the water depth went from roughly 20ft to about a million, yes I’m exaggerating but it was really deep and I couldn’t see the bottom. This was awesome, there were schools of little blue fish swimming everywhere and the water seemed to go on forever. It was both an eerie and exhilarating feeling.

So, about the food here at Discovery Bay Marine Lab. It. Is. Fantastic. I’ve never eaten so much in my life! I used to be such a picky eater but being here and just allowing myself to try everything, I realized, well, I love everything! It is so much richer and fresher than food back in the US, I’m really going to miss this when we leave.

Celeste and I have also had a few deep conversations about the universe while here at Discovery Bay. We lay out after dark and look up at the stars and try to figure out the constellations as well as talk about life and what else is out there. Very deep stuff.

Star gazing
Celeste and I laying down.

Now that I have written a completely random post… I am going to go be productive and go out snorkeling for a bit!  

- Steph Mincieli

4 thoughts on “16 Jan AM – Moving Right Along

  1. You mean to tell me the food at SUNY Stony Brook isn’t as fresh as the food in sunny Jamaica?! It sounds like you and your friends are having a great time.

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