We started out the day with a morning dive, our most crowded yet with the DITz on board. Fourteen people [ed: hmm, I guess instructors don't count as people! There were a few more of us onboard.] total piled onto the two boats at 7:30am, some bringing normal dive gear, while others brought research material. Several groups stayed by the boat and gathered data while others broke off on their own and had a fun dive. Afterwards, it was back to the dock where everyone dried off for a late breakfast, so kindly kept warm for us by Precious! Some jumped right back into the water to gather more data, while others relaxed for the first time in a while and did some online (yes, the wifi is back!) research. No matter what we were doing, we waited in anticipation for our first night dive to come. As we went about our day, we all convened in the classroom for one last guest lecture by Dr. Dayne Buddo, a professor at the University of the West Indies. We learned about alien and invasive species, as well as a new program that is going to be hosted by UWI and Stony Brook alike. It was a really enlightening experience, and a great distraction from our overwhelming research. After that, it was a few short hours until we jumped in the water once again, 16 divers, 12 flashlights, and a whole bunch of nerves. At some points, we spread very far apart, at others we crowded on top of one another, and at the end, our navigation was more than a bit off, but the majority of the group had fun on their first night dive, and everyone can at least check that experience off their bucket list!
[ed: The photos below are from the morning dive.]
Hand feeding fish by breaking open some sea urchins
Our Dive Master, Snow, free diving and messing with us during our safety stop
A couple of our divers waiting to get in the boat: (left to right) Danica, Sal, and Taylor