by Cameron, Naut-in-Training
Today marks our first dives of the SCUBAnauts International second summer trip to the Florida Keys! We started with reviewing our basic skills, (mask clearing, buddy breathing, and so on) and then moved on to practicing fish identification and coral identification. On our next three dives, we worked out the kinks on our scientific projects. For our group’s project, we survey the population of parrotfish on the reef we dive so we can record their numbers!
After looking at hundreds of parrotfish, we decided to take a look around the reef. Some of the best things we saw were: a massive barracuda, commonplace on the key reefs, a large blacktip reef shark, who was unfortunately trailing some line from an encounter with a poorly-skilled fisherman, and finally, we saw some massive Goliath grouper! They were hanging out under the boat every dive, and some of them looked to be about 300-400 pounds! Overall, it was a fun day and hopefully a good omen of whats to come!