Monday: Research on “Velella”

Today was our first official day of research!  We were divided into three groups, and each group spent the day conducting research on a different boat.  There was a large catamaran called “Velella”, a small boat called “Glaucus” and a very small dinghy that’s just known as a “tender”.  I was on Velella ,which was great as it’s the only boat where you stay dry and it meant that I could use Skype!

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Our job was to put a waterproof camera down into the water at a number of different locations to see if there was any seagrass – and if there was, which type and how much coverage there was.  The camera that was put in the water was really small – a “gopro” in a waterproof case. 

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We were able to get instant vision from the camera on a screen.  The first ten or so times we put the camera down all we saw was sand, but eventually we did see seagrass.  Towards the end of the day the boat was near the edge of some larger patches of seagrass, which enabled us to see and record more than one species.  This information is then collated and used by the scientists in their work.  We recorded the coordinates using longitude and latitude references of each position where we lowered the camera.  If anyone in 4EB would like to have a look at the yellow and blue map of the Moreton Bay area in the classroom, today I was around the “NS” which stands for North Stradbroke. 

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Tonight after dinner one of the researchers Susan talked to us about sharks and we learned about how they see.  She has done lots of research on this and I look forward to sharing what I learned.  If you are able to, google “wobbegong” sharks and have a look at them. 

I didn’t get to see any dugongs today, and I have learned that if they know you are coming, they tend to swim away.  I did see a turtle and a few dolphins though and I hope I get to see more this week.  There have been trips out in the water that have seen whales!  How cool would that be!  Tomorrow I am on a different boat called “Glaucus”.  I know I am in for quite a bit of swimming and setting up cameras under the water… stay tuned for tomorrow nights update! 

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