Day 3 - A Day For Dugongs

This could be a short blog for tonight. We had quite a long day on the boat and as the wind picked up this afternoon, so did the waves! 

Today we all jumped aboard Velella at 6:30am and headed out to sea. After some delicious breakfast we found out about the activities we would be helping with today. Today I was going to be working with Dr James Udy, who is a seagrass expert! We left the comforts of Velella for a day on the water in a slightly smaller (well a LOT smaller actually) boat called 'Tender', which we would be using to take us out into Moreton Bay to collect samples of the different seagrasses that live there.  

 

                  Wednesday Tender    Look how small Tender is!                                      day 3 tender   The crew on Tender  
   

Some of the samples we had to collect were 8 metres deep, a little bit far for me to dive down to grab so I left these ones up to the experts. We learnt a lot about the different seagrasses found in Moreton Bay, and most importantly which seagrass the Dugong loves to eat, which is called Halophila ovalis by the way. Look I am slowly becoming very knowledgable about the stuff!

We headed back to Velella for some lunch, it was lovely to step off our little boat onto what we now know as the 'Mothership'.  We must have been anchored very close to a huge meadow of Halophila ovalis because up popped a couple of Dugongs for us all to see. FINALLY! Actually it didn't take that long as it is only Day 3! Of course every time I rushed for my camera they ducked underwater, but I promise I did see them.

The rest of the afternoon we spent collecting more seagrass samples whilst also battling some big waves. We really had to hang on tight, although it was a little bit exciting when a wave crashed over the side. It's times like these I'm very glad I don't get sea sick, if I did get sea sick things would have got rather messy in that small boat.

We ended up doing around 60 different sample sites. That's a lot!  We arrived back into shore just after 5pm, very wind blown, very wet, exhausted but also excited to have finally seen a Dugong!

Dugong