Day on the Tender

An early start to the morning 6.45 am walking to the marina to begin our big first day out in the water.  We boarded the Velella, a beautiful Catamaran, where we had breakfast and an induction for the use of the boat. 

We then had a quick snorkelling induction to see how comfortable we were in the water.  I was nervous getting in unsure of my capabilities of duck diving and how deep.  Luckily i passed and was even able to get back into the boat.

The groups then broke up and went their separate ways.  My group consisted of Andy, Bonnie, James the skipper and me.  We were on the smallest boat - the tender- and our main focus was to collect sea grass in 30 different sites before lunch.  Andy went first showing his competency as a snorkeller.  He collected some great samples but the names were like a different language to the 3 of us.  We then decided to make up new names to assist us in being able to identify the 6 varieties of seagrass we hoped to come across.  My turn came and i very bravely dived into the water, pushed down to the bottom - i am too bouyant to do this on my own - and collected my first sample.  I felt quite pleased with myself.

We headed back to the Vellela for lunch and spent a relaxing hour in the sunshine and watching James do some incredible jumps off the boat.  Back into the tender we headed in a different direction to find more samples.  I felt braver with every dive, but did not volunteer to dive beyond 1.6 m.  Maybe tomorrow.  We completed 60 sites obtaining data for the sites and the amount of seagrass present at each area.

We saw atleast 20 turtles, held a sea cucumber and sea stars and saw many razor clams.  It was a great day and we were all very proud of our achievements.  Our names for the seagrass were fun - Hawaiian Shade, Hawaiian Oval, Serengetti spaghetti string and crap salad.  Looking forward to a less exhausting day on the Velella tomorrow after an exhausting day today on the tender.