Day 2 - On Velella And Out To Sea We Go

Unlike Melbourne, it gets light at around 5am! So getting to our research boat “Velella”, by 6:30am wasn’t actually as bad as I thought. The sun was shining and the Curlews were making plenty of noise outside my window. There’s no chance of a sleep in around here!


We boarded the boat and as it took off I spotted a sea turtle, hooray!! That didn’t take long!! Then we saw dolphins! This is certainly not your average school day at all.

After breakfast, and most importantly a coffee (an essential start to my day as most of my class would know) we were sent off to our activities for the day. I got on a smaller research boat called “Glaucus” and I was very excited to hear about what research we would be helping out with today. We were going to be working with Paul, a scientist from Healthy Waterways, an organisation that protects and looks after the health of water ways in South East Queensland.

That excitement suddenly turned into a slight panic. Our activity today was surveying the fish communities that live within the different sea grass habitats around the bay. Now, if any of you have read my Writer’s Notebook, you would know there’s three pages dedicated to stories about my very silly FISH PHOBIA! Yes for someone who swims in the ocean so much, it doesn’t really make sense, but it’s something I’ve had since a primary school teacher of mine once told me a slimy story about a fish getting stuck in her wetsuit! So we primary school teachers need to be very careful about our stories!

Luckily we weren’t swimming through schools of fish like I had imagined, it wasn’t that scary at all! Instead we placed Go Pro cameras, attached to bricks, down on the sea grass bed. We also placed some bait in front of the camera to attract sea creatures to the camera so we could film them. In total we placed around 15 cameras in different sea grass habitats. We left the cameras for an hour and then came back to collect them. Here's some of the equipment we used today. A bait bag, underwater camera and our boat Glaucus.

                              bait bucket                                Camera                         Wednesday Glaucus 


When we watched the videos back we saw quite a few small fish, some Rays and a Barracuda! I was much happier watching fish swimming around on a video, especially a Barracuda! I hope I can get some of these videos for you to watch when I get back. This is one of the video highlights that Paul has put together from another trip:

 



We finished our research for the day and headed back to the Moreton Bay Research Station where we enjoyed a bbq and a really interesting talk about sharks fromm Dr Susan Theiss. She’s definitely an expert in sharks, and I was quite pleased to hear the shark’s found in Moreton Bay aren't too big.….we hope……