Perfect Day on Alligator

Although REEF tries its hardest to keep us interns busy, we are still able to make it out on the reef for some perfect weather.  The other day we went out with our lovely friends Carlos and Allison to a little place they call Alligator.  The conditions were amazing; it was the kind of conditions you wait all year for; sunny, no current, glassy surface and clear to the bottom. When we first hopped in we were surrounded by a halo of silversides and herring.  I had to wave my hand out in front of me to make them move so I could see the bottom, which was about six feet below me.  I still can’t believe that I have this awesome job.  We snorkeled around the lighthouse for a few hours doing fish surveys, while being serenaded by the great Jimmy Buffet from the radio of a neighboring boat. It was hard to not get distracted but I was able to finish 3 separate fish surveys.  Fish surveys are one of REEF’s major programs where citizen scientists go out and write down on underwater paper all the fish that they see and their abundance.  With the help of all the fish surveyors over the years we are able to look at the species and abundance and get a better idea of the status of our reefs.  In order to become a fish surveyor and help save our reefs all you have to do is become a member and know at least one fish!  There are many different levels which you can work your way up to with fish quizzes and number of surveys.  Our summer intern goal is to be level four fish surveyors (part of the Advanced Assessment Team) by the end of our internship, which some say is a hefty goal, but we are excited to take on the challenge.  After our fish surveys at Alligator we hung out in the water and just took in the beauty.  Coming from California, I am still trying to get used to this feeling of being warm in the water.  So far I think I’m doing a good job!  Our beautiful trip was only cut short by the fact that another intern and I had to wake up at 3 to catch a flight to the Bahamas!!! Rough life I live, I know! But someone has got to do it!  When we get to the Bahamas we will be doing lionfish surveys and tagging at Green Turtle Cay all leading up to the lionfish derby that will be held on Saturday! Lionfish derbies are big community fishing events to help control the lionfish population. I will be back soon and will hopefully have great stories to tell about the Bahamas!

The REEF girls out at Alligator!!

The REEF girls out at Alligator!!
(Photo Credit Carlos Estape)


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