International Student Trips Powered By Discovery Education
Sophie's Australia Adventure

Just Keep Swimming!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yesterday we transferred out to Orpheus Island to conduct research. Oh, that went well! I had a lot of fun, but we didn't get much work done. First we went out in the morning to watch fish. I got very thirsty and Laura and I found NO FISH AT ALL! We couldn't find the "minimum observer distance" where we could see the fish but not scare them away. The water was very murky (though no where near as bad as LA) so we had to be on top of the fish to see them. But this scared them away. After about two hours of this, we took a break for lunch. And then it was back in your wetsuits and back in the water! This time we had to conduct several transects. We were supposed to tie the end of a tape measure around a piece of coral and roll the tape out to fifty meters. Then we should have swam along the tape and recorded every meter what we saw (soft coral, branching coral, massive coral, table coral, dead coral and algae, sand, rubble, or seaweed). But our tape wouldn't stop flipping over to the not-meter side! Eventually we got one transect done, but by this point, my mask had started malfunctioning, and I got saltwater in my eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. The mouthoiece on the snorkel also cut into the roof of my mouth, which is still sore. But, we were in the Great Barrier Reef. It was breathtaking.


Susan said...

Perhaps you will have to go back sometime and practice that "minimum observer distance". I think it would be quite a challenge myself.
Glad that you enjoyed your time there even though you had a few problems with your gear. The island must be a beautiful place.
Mrs. Jensen's mom

Post a Comment

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Aboriginal Culture