Today we stayed within the beautiful Rangiroa islands the whole day and conducted our first real Reef Survey! We were divided into three separate snorkeling groups based on our Watch, and each Watch group is divided into Coral Team, Fish Team and Invertebrate Team. The natural beautiful views were as attractive and as interesting as our scientific research. It was such an enjoyment and privilege to be able to observe and study some of the most delicate creatures here in some of the clearest ocean waters. Most of us had a chance to see almost all the species on our list, which we have to get familiar with ahead of time. I was with the Fish Team and had a chance to record numbers of different fishes when we were stationary, moving along a transact line, and roving around. Everyone was excited about what they saw in the water. As for boat watches, all students, including myself were getting more and more comfortable with our duties, especially boat check.
A group of fish swimming with us during the reef survey.
As all members are sharing common resources, common illnesses are easy to spread on board. A few of the ship's crew felt sick today and we systematically learnt how to wash hands properly, as well as reinforced the cleaning procedures for the ship.
As a student whose homeland is China, I feel like the voyage is more like a trip to home rather than to a faraway destination, because I have been away from my hometown for almost a year and will immediately head home after this voyage. Each day I feel that I am getting closer and closer to home. Therefore, I always welcome a new day with full hope and enthusiasm, as all members on the ship do.
Shuo Wang from Watch Group A, Wesleyan University