Friday, July 5, 2013

Belize 2013 | Riders of the Storm

New England Aquarium coral biologist Randi Rotjan, PhD, and aquarists Peter Gawne and Joe Masi have recently traveled to Belize to monitor coral health near Carrie Bow Cay. Tune in here for updates about their research and animal encounters, and see pictures from previous expeditions herehere and here

Today's post comes from Peter Gawne.

Conditions here at Carrie Bow have worsened. A tropical depression has formed off the coast of Belize. We’ve been pretty well socked in by the weather with winds sustained over 35 mph, and 11 inches of rain in the last 48 hours. Sea conditions have become very rough as well, with waves from 5 to 7 feet, which has kept us from being able to safely access the reef.

The heavy winds of Tropical Storm Barry begin to batter Carrie Bow Cay.

Even the hermit crabs seemed to know that it is going to be a bit of a rough ride. As the storm intensifies the crabs have headed for high ground. Midway through the afternoon many of the hermit crabs have climbed the palm trees, and are looking down on us from their coconut perches. It is amazing that the crabs can hang on while gale-force winds buffet the trees!

Water rises beneath the outbuildings, while waves build and crash over the reef.

For the humans on the island, it is a similarly rough ride. Our lodgings, while typically weather-tight, have met their match with this wind and rain. Many of us had a long sleepless night, trying in vain to stay warm and dry. It was an odd experience—sort of like trying to sleep as someone sprinkles you with a garden hose, accompanied by a high-pitched moaning of the wind through the rafters. It is not an experience I would care to duplicate.

Facebook Comments


Post a Comment