Sailing for Seagrass

I am exhausted!

Today was go go go from around 6am this morning. We got up, had breakfast and went straight out on the boat. The main research boat is called the Velella (vel-eel-la) and I spent the full day on it. It is a beautiful 12m catamaran with plenty of scientific technology onboard!

Some of the other teachers went out on smaller boats to do snorkelling in shallower water - I'm getting a turn to do that tomorrow! Today we were mapping out the locations of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay. There are lots of animals in the area that heavily rely on the seagrass and it's important that we know where it is, what type it is and how healthy it is.

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Sailing on the Velella on Moreton Bay

 

To do this we had a 'sled' which had two cameras that recorded underwater footage. We used a special screen to view this live back on the boat. We stopped at nearly 20 different places and threw the sled into the water. We found some really great seagrass and recorded its location using a GPS. The skipper of the boat was an expert at guiding us to new locations and had to pilot the boat through some very shallow water (1.5m). We were lucky enough to see 3 dugongs from the boat and lots of dolphins! Hopefully when I get in the water tomorrow we will get to see some dugongs close up.

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The screen we used to view live footage from the seagrass meadows Putting the sled into the water. Seagrass (on left) Algae (on right) One of the other research boats.

 

Miss McKinley