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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 2 - Thu 1/12/2012 - Pillar Coral & Tres Cocos

Click here to see a web album with 41 photos from today (they are all higher resolution than the ones here).

Today was our first day out on the reef. Everyone was up by 7:30AM for an 8AM breakfast. Around 8:45 we headed to the beach and spent some time cleaning; it is our goal to leave the beach far cleaner than we found it. Just after 9, we boarded a large motorboat to being our snorkeling adventure:

After a brief lecture by our guide Maureen, we entered the water for the first time (for 3 of us, the first time ever!). Our first snorkel spot was Pillar Coral, named after the unusual coral formations found there:

The snorkeling was excellent, with crystal clear visibility, calm wind, and no waves. Among the unusual creatures we saw there was the yellow spotted sting ray:

And the brittle star:

After about an hour in the water, we returned to TREC for a quick lunch. We were back on the water by 1PM. It was such a calm day, that the TREC leaders decided to bring us to a spot that I have not visited in the 3 years that I have been coming: the ocean-side of the reef, where the water is much deeper. We enjoyed viewing the unusual coral formations and a school of 4 nurse sharks from a vantage point about 30 feet above:

We then ventured to another dive spot called Tres Cocos. This site was rich with a type of coral called elkhorn coral:

Among the unusual species spotted here was the filefish:

The invasive lionfish:

And the trumpetfish:

After a long time in the water, we headed back to dry land. After an hour to rinse and work on our notebooks, we gathered down by the beach to compare notes and plan our laboratory activities, which begin tomorrow:

Class was indeed held outside today! As it will be tomorrow and the day after that…


  1. Thanks for the photos -- it was sleeting rain today in Boston!

  2. any... octopuses???


  3. Simply beautiful!