by Markus B., SCUBAnaut 1st Class
Our third day in the Keys at Mote Marine Laboratory, Wednesday, began with a slow start to the morning–most of us still tired from last night’s dives, but we were still fed, prepared to dive, and in the classroom at 8:15 for the day’s briefing, followed by a short van trip to the diving charter: Looe Key Reef Resort. Once on the water, each project team conducted surveys and solidified methodologies for data collection. My team practiced distributing the workload to make sure each member stayed busy while not being overwhelmed with responsibilities. We used the time during our surface interval after the first dive to eat lunch and prepare for the next two science dives. On the last two dives, Nauts spotted multiple sharks, rays, and big coral along the reefs. We also had time afterwards to swim around the dive spot and take some cool pictures of the surrounding marine life. We returned to MOTE, ate a delicious taco dinner with all the fixings, and returned to the classroom at 7:15. We had our science lesson of the day with a Skype call to Raymond Dierdorf, an ambassador of Coral Restoration Foundation. Raymond talked to us about the foundation’s work and the scale of their local coral nurseries. We also had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about their practice with coral cultivation and transplants. Our night finished around 10:45 with data entry from our survey collection, dive logs and blogs, and brownies for dessert!