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July 17th 2010
Published: July 20th 2010
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Claire: I woke up realizing that a corrugated iron roof was definitely not a good construction material for roofing on a tropical island that is witness to regular monsoon-like rain. Ellie had already been up at 6 and left for a snorkel, but with a relative lie-in of 8am I was greatly unimpressed by this type of wake-up at 7.30am. No wonder we shelter geckos, rats and bats!
Today was day 1 of my project. I’m working with Michael. He has graduated from Uni California Santa Barbara with a Marine Biology degree and wants to write a dissertation before applying for his masters. We’re collecting data together, as it means we can get twice the data in half the time, also we’ve decided on 2 methods of data collection, and it helps to have another set of hands! We had two dives today, the first was quite useful, laying out a practice quadrat on the reef wall and trying to identify corals down to species level, (a massive task, which would not be possible without underwater cameras). We were also assigned research assistants, but had nothing for them to do!

The second dive was rather pitiful. On the first dive I kept sinking, and had to inflate my BCD to say neutrally buoyant, so cleverly decided to take 2kg off my weight belt. Needless to say on our second dive, I didn’t sink… at all. We did get to see an octopus climb in to a ridiculously small hole, but other than that, and playing with a sea krait, we did very little. The plan for tomorrow is to take the day off diving, plan our method, learn coral species ID and snorkel first thing (6am) when it’s high tide, and a second snorkel in the afternoon.


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