Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dry Run (Night 1)

 Dry Run Night!

DJ on the high seas

 Tuesday morning was a water run for 9 garbage bins of sea water to be filtered. Rachel loves the boat days, and DJ agreed to come along for his maiden voyage on one of KML's vessels. The water was beautiful and Cindy, Rachel and DJ had high hopes for the calm seas to stay until the evening hours. In fact, DJ even hoped for calmer waters for tonight to ease any sea sickness.

Rachel getting sea water. Photo courtesy of Cindy!
Beware of that leaky garbage bin!

Mac giving the volunteers a run-down of the next few nights

By 1pm most of the spawning volunteers had arrived and were listening to an orientation by Mac and Shelby. A great group of divers and snorkelers, BURR is shaping up to look like a fantastic team!
Shelby showing off the wet lab and explaining the kreisels

After the classroom session and a fantastic powerpoint presentation by none other than our own Shelby, everyone became familiar with the set-up out in the wet lab as well as the basics on filtering sea water (a very important non-stop task over the next few days)

Captain Bill overseeing his crew

And we're off! By 5pm all gear; scuba equipment, boat kits, tents, flashlights, and snacks were loaded on the R/V Diadon with Bill and Trevor captaining the ship.


Mac giving instructions for the teams

Mac gave the team instructions for setting up tents at the spawning site, Alligator Reef. 3 teams set up 6 tents each on different colonies of Montastrea faveolata. Team 2 and 3 were the teams specifically collecting egg-sperm bundles for DJ and Bishoy's projects.
Charlotte and Shelby ready to tent some corals

Good thing for Dry Runs, we got everything set up with only a little bit of troubles, but made it back on the boat for a beautiful sunset as we started the long wait for corals to set and spawn.

By 10:30pm Mac and Pam were in the water, checking to see if the corals set, while the rest of the team waited on board for them to surface with news of setting....They were down until after 11:15pm, and unfortunately did not see any of the colonies ready to spawn. Teams got back together in the water to retrieve the tents and cyalumes. No corals spawned, but it was a good dry run and I think the entire Team feels much more prepared for Night 2 of spawning. The night was did have a few perks; a Hawksbill turtle was spotted by Mac and Pam, and a flashlight accidentally dropped by Pam was actually found by Peter on the tent collection dive!
Peace and sunsets
 Way to go everyone! Now, go get some rest, and be ready to get out to the wet lab and start filtering sea water, prep the cyalumes, and get gear ready for Night 2!

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