Click here to jump to a web album with 24 photos from Day #5 (all in larger format than on this blog).
Having just woken from a lengthy nap, I feel well rested as I write this! The nap was my chosen activity during our afternoon off (more on that later).
Our sleep last night was interrupted by periods if hard, driving rain. When we woke, there were puddles everywhere, and the rain continued on and off for the rest of the morning. More significantly for us, there was a heavy wind (perhaps a steady 25 MPG) when we arrived at the beach for our daily cleanup project:
Since today was a short day, we boarded a smaller motorboat for a five minute ride to Tuffy Reef. The rain fell and the wind whipped as we rode the waves to our destination, ably led by Chico and Ken's wife Maureen (who is, the bye way, a licensed boat captain, a licensed tour guide, and a registered nurse - a bit qualified, I'd say!):
Once at the reef, the students collected their final set of data:
Once all the data slates were turned in, we headed out for our usual reef exploration. In these photos, you can notice how choppy the conditions are by all the sediment that is being tossed up. The wind really whipped up and the seas got rougher, causing us to flee for the boat after about 20 minutes:
Once back on shore, we met in the TREC classroom to go over our data and compile the final data table. The students gathered data on species diversity and abundance and two sub-locations (reef vs. between-reef-sand) at four distinct sites. All of the data was combined and compiled into a common raw data table that will serve as the basis of the lab report:
Thus fortified with knowledge, the students were given the rest of the day off. Some students used this opportunity to go shopping, some to eat out, some to nap, some to watch the NFL playoffs, and most to work on their journals and lab reports. We convene again this evening to go over analysis of the data, to confirm that all students have properly understood and analyzed their data. The day off was a much-enjoyed respite. Tomorrow will be a very full day!
Best wishes from Belize.