After a late night game of volleyball after dinner the previous night, I was not sure how I was going to wake up for my very first not-in-training dive before breakfast this morning. Luckily I managed the getting up part and let the water do the actual waking. Megan and I had the pleasure of having Snow (one of the dive masters) show us around dive site LTS. We saw a moray eel, a lionfish, and I finally found a flamingo tongue!
Cutest little sea creature, second only to…
…Benny (Taylor named him), the lettuce sea slug in our collection.
Later, we finally got to go on the night dive. I was pretty nervous because we were told that we would probably get stung by the jellyfish that hang out at the surface and I only have a shorty and also because we only had about eight lights for 14 divers. It was pretty cool though. It was a full moon, so even at 30ft, while we were waiting for everyone else to descend, we could see each other without any light. I didn’t see an octopus or a sea turtle, like when I went on the night snorkel, but it was fun seeing the bioluminescence every time we moved around under water.
As for the research project, it is going well. Jose and I are studying the mutualistic relationship between Upside Down Jellyfish and Zooxanthellae, which are photosynthesizing organisms that reside in the Jellyfish’s tentacles, and how that relationship changes in the absence of light. After a slow start in trying to figure out our methodology, we were finally able to extract the Zooxanthellae and start counting them.
So many Zooxanthellae for us to count.