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Surveying the Queen Conch with ReefCI - by guest Henry


Awoke naturally at 0630 by the sound of the waves and the morning rays of sunlight gleaming through the open doorway of the cabana. Perfect timing to get ready for the first dive of the day at 0730. The other guests, Lindsey, Pam and Jackie were also up at about the same time. Switched my camera battery and the strobe batteries and prepped the camera housing o-ring in preparation for today’s diving.

The first dive was at a site called “Fisherman’s Delight,” a beautiful white sandy bottom at about 24m and scattered with small rocky island shrubs teaming with life. The focus for this dive was catching Lion fish as they are a continuing threat to the natural lifecycle of the reef ever since they were introduced. Was just starting to get to grips with using the new camera system and managed to get some good shots I feel.

The second dive was scheduled at 1130 and was aimed at surveying the Queen Conch at dive site “Shark’s Basin.” Slightly unrelated, this dive begun with a bit of fun, underwater Olympics, which involved a short race on the sandy bottom with fins in hand, an underwater somersault and back to the start. This was very amusing to say the least. Then, back to more serious things and the conch search and survey began. Each conch that was found was measured in various ways to determine maturity and the data was written down next to the corresponding tag ID number. Any new conchs were also tagged. An enjoyable and interesting dive.

The third dive of the day I chose not to take the camera in exchange for the Lion fish spears. It turned out that I was not born to hunt Lion fish. One shot out of about a hundred was successful! Even so, this was good fun and one is always better than none.

The final dive today is a night dive and we are just prepping our gear for it now.

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