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Plankton Experiment (Ocean 2017)

By wpdev June 6, 2017
 June 4, 2017

Today was another early morning, setting sail from Anegada to Marina Cay after a relaxing recovery day at Loblolly Bay. I was Skipper of the Day with Quinton as my navigator. We had a remotely easy three hour beam reach sail to Marina Cay.

After some amazing Couscous salad, we had a plankton lesson and decided to undertake a little plankton experiment. Since plankton undergo a diel migration every night, we decided to do two tows to see the difference between day and night. Using our plankton tow net, we went on a 15 minute tow, once at 4:30pm and once at 9:15pm. The water samples are cooling to slow the movement of zooplankton so we can identify the plankton and zooplankton tonight with our microscope.

In the afternoon, we went for a snorkel to check out Diamond Reef, located off Great Camanoe, at a 2 minute boat ride from Scrub Island. We hopped back in the water around 7:00pm to see the crepuscular transition and stayed for about an hour to see the beginning of the night creatures coming out to feed. We watched as a big hawksbill turtle found a nice nook to sleep in for the night. We also found an octopus trying to eat a fish and some huge basket stars on the end of gorgonians with its arms spread to filter all the plankton that went by. It was an extraordinary night snorkel!

Sarah McMeikin, Ocean student, age 25, Victoria, Australia


The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.