Seven hours stuck in a car can feel like sand dribbling slowly down in a time keeper.  Basically, it seems feels like a lifetime.  Often at times, I would wonder why I would go through such boredom but then my answer always pushed me through.  Because after 7 hours, I would be able to dive on the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world, the Florida Keys.  It’s not everday I can do 3 amazing dives in pristine blue waters.  In my neck of the woods, I would get lucky if I could see my buddy due to the poor visibility.  However, when I’m in the Keys, I can depict every detail on the ocean floor.  Take today’s dives as an example. 

While my fellow nauts were observing the reef by point count, I conducted a fish survey.  There just seemed to be an endless supply of fish and I could distictly see every stripe on a French Grunt.  Those grunts were sure common.  Also common were the Brown Chromises, Seargeant Majors, Grey Snappers and Blue-headed Wrasses.  What was shocking to me on these dives were the low abundance of gobies on the reef.  On my last trip in Belize, it was common to spy on the cute little fish.  Perhaps that can be a new study; do gobies show signs of a healthy reef?  In any case, I would love to find that answer out and maybe thanks to the Disney Grant, I can!  First things first though, I need to start familiarizing myself with the more common fish because there is still more science to come!!

~Jessica Silk, St. Petersburg Chapter SCUBAnaut