Atp's external memory

Back on Track. Surveys, return of blue skies

(Storm and comms problems mean these are being posted in batches)

This morning saw the return of Blue Sky and sunshine, albeit in brief periods after some bad squalls and thunderstorms overnight. I failed to wake up during the most severe one at 2:30 am which proves you can become accustomed to anything. The Typhoon wind has dropped, but we're keeping the hatches battened down just in case. The swell also dropped during the day, making a fun dive in the afternoon on the North Wall possible.

The first dive was a survey north of the special management area. By now this is a fairly smooth operation, with Tikyo laying the line, Rick and Rachel doing the fish, Valerie and Debbie doing the Inverts and Sue and myself handing corals/substrates. Tikyo has a sense of humour. He laid the line right over a crown of thorns starfish. There was also a nice stone fish near the tape a few metres later. I remember when he was just a little boy running around the boats and occasionally falling in. Now he's a full on dive guide, with a lot of ease under the water.

Back to base for Lunch and data entry, to find Tita Kaila returned from Bacolod bearing (amongst other things) a peppa pig play house for Zoe, as well as goody bags from Havaianas Philippines. Thank you Antoinette!

A lovely dive with Debbie in the afternoon, started with a nudibranch and then moved on to Lionfish city, with a total of 5 or so individuals by the end of the dive. Clouds of Anthias, Damselfish and a large Batfish spotted out in the blue. Some lovely corals – I was looking closely mainly at Pectinia and Echinopora sp, although there a couple of striking Goniopora that I wished I had the camera for. Lots of ascidians – there seem to be 3 common ones – Polycarpa Aureus, a colonial one on a stalk, and an silvery grey one (both of which I need to ID). There was also a small clump of bright blue Rhopalea sp that were next to one of the Lionfish caves. A very enjoyable hour spent looking closely at things.

Tonight the lecture is birds. I need to work on my second talk. Looking forward to going to Bulata tomorrow.

(no pictures today)

Written by atp

Monday 10 August 2015 at 09:29 am

Posted in Conservation

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