Friday, May 15, 2015

Belize 2015 | Arrival on Carrie Bow Cay

Staff from the New England Aquarium recently traveled to Belize as part of a long-term research program by Aquarium scientist Randi Rotjan, PhD, to monitor coral health near Carrie Bow Cay. Today's post comes from educator Sam Herman.

It's hard to believe that we were in Boston this morning.

I am sitting here on an island that could fit inside the Aquarium's property boundaries with Sean (a GOT diver). Like other Aquarium employees over the last few years we are here to help conduct surveys on fish and coral populations on sites around Carrie Bow Cay off the coast of Belize. Sean was here last fall...I'm going to be depending on his past experience!

Sean and I began our journey at 4:00am at Logan airport. Our flight to Miami left at 5, getting in around 8:30. From there we caught a flight to Belize City and then (after immigration and customs) we got on a third flight to Dangriga. This 10-seater was probably the smallest plane I've been on (even though it was bigger than on previous trips). The final leg of our trip was a 45-minute boat ride to Carrie Bow Cay. I couldn't help thinking that 45 mins is my normal commute to the Aquarium from Somerville. This was definitely a nicer trip.

The view that welcomes visiting scientists to Carrie Bow Cay

While that all sounds hectic, looking back it actually seems pretty quick. Maybe we're just tired.

I am very excited to be on this trip, but have to admit to being a little nervous. This is going to be very different from my normal week as a Senior Educator at the Aquarium. While I often talk to our visitors about the various coral projects the Aquarium is involved in, actually being here is a totally different experience.

Luckily, in addition to Sean, we also have other veteran surveyors here with us. They all bring years of experience and are already great teachers. We've talked through the process of surveying and I think I get it as much as I can from talking about it on dry we just need to get to it!

We've got a full day of diving ahead tomorrow. So for now, time for bed.

The sun sets over Carrie Bow Cay

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