What’s up everyone? I am 4/C Max Segatore from Plymouth, Massachusetts, in Cohort B.
Today was one of the best days we have had so far on our amazing trip. We started our day with not the usual breakfast but rather a picture with both cohorts at the docks and in front of the main building outside of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). This photo shoot was brief, but it still meant having to get up earlier than regular to be able to stay on schedule for the great activities later in the day.
After the pictures, we went to eat breakfast and pack our lunches. I made my sandwich and went to wait for the bus. We waited for about eight minutes for the bus then we went to Tobacco Bay and Achilles Bay. These two bays are only separated by a large section of limestone and coral. The bus dropped us off at Achilles Bay near Fort St. Cathrine. The sun was not on our side in the morning and hid behind the clouds. This made me and my dive partner 4/C Adam Veloso have to use the full wetsuit including the hood for the first time. The water was very cold at first even with the wetsuit on but once we got moving we became plenty warm.
The bay was home to the highest volume of creatures making it the most diverse site we have seen yet. My favorite thing I saw in the bay was a three-foot-long parrotfish. This was just one of the many things though I observed. There were sea anemone (like from Finding Nemo), pufferfish, smooth trunkfish, an octopus, and even juvenile parrotfish.
The highlight of Achilles Bay and Tobacco Bay had to have been the heroic expert spear fisherman who came to our rescue to exterminate a lionfish by any means necessary. He was fresh out of spears so he had to use a rock to stun the fish and a stick to finish the fish off. This was quite the thing to witness. Then after his help he went on his way to what he was doing prior.
After our time at both the bays, we went home to BIOS to have lunch and continue our day. After lunch, we loaded ourselves onto a BIOS research vessel and made our way, not to North Lagoon like cohort A, but an area down the water near the busiest waterway in Bermuda. This area was amazing because it was super shallow and we could get closer to the fish than a lot of other sites we have been to this week.
We saw many organisms in this area including many fire corals which can hurt for a very long time if you don’t have proper protection. The best part of this sight was swimming with a Spotted Eagle Ray (like Mr.Ray from Finding Nemo). It was about two feet long and a foot and a half wide. It was one of the best things I have ever been blessed enough to set my eyes on.
After this site, we went to BIOS for dinner and a lecture on Sargassum (seaweed only found in the Sargasso Sea) and plastic pollution in the ocean.
I hope you all are enjoying these blogs! Have a great rest of your week!