Sunday, August 10, 2008
Under the sea….
Sunday morning started off with a lecture on fish identification followed by a snorkel/dive on the reef observing the fish that we learned about. It was an exciting day for the teachers who made their first dive in the ocean after taking scuba lessons in the Great Lakes. Colleen Kelley (pictured) was in awe of the beauty and the colors of the reef. Her first dives today will be remembered for years to come.
After a lecture on invertebrates, the afternoon dive/snorkel introduced teachers to many of the animals covered in the class. The divers came face to face with nine squid that came within feet of the curious educators. Some actually “inked” when the divers got a little too close for comfort. These cephalopods, or head-footed mollusks, are able to change colors in an instant, putting on quite a show for the educators.
As the divers entered the water, they saw several large black groupers (pictured) that followed along and kept a watchful eye on the educators. Groupers are a predator on the reef, but they posed no threat to the larger human visitors.
The snorkelers were greeted by a school of blue tangs, an interesting schooling reef fish that have small scalpel-like fins at the base of the tail that are used for protection. The large school (pictured) grazed along the reef as they picked on algae.
While the snorkelers floated above the reef, the divers had the chance to see a toadfish, a weird looking, secretive fish that made its home in a small hole in the reef. The toadfish (pictured) is not as attractive as many of the colorful reef fish, but its large mouth and eyes make it an interesting find on the dive.
As the divers headed off to the boat to meet up with the snorkelers, a yellow tail snapper (pictured) followed the group. These curious fish are easy to identify because of the colorful tail and bright stripe that give this fish its common name.
Posted by Garry Dole at 11:47 PM