What an exciting night we had!
As the previous blog posts have mentioned, we anchored at Orona two days ago, and the plan was to stay there until tomorrow morning. During the night however, the ship started getting a little close to the reef. So to get out quick we had to drop our stern anchor (don't worry though, we also dropped a GPS point so we could find it later), pull our main anchor up, and motor away from the atoll. Then we spent the rest of the night just drifting, using the wind and waves to keep us from the reefs of Orona.
Baby shark doo doo (baby black tip reef shark)
Luckily for us though, our adventure last night didn't mean the end of our time at Orona. We motored back to atoll this morning and carried on with business as usual, which is to say, we kept snorkeling and taking trips to the shore. Of course our business was slightly interrupted this morning when we had to go and find the dropped anchor, which was heroically recovered by some of the crew and our resident diver Brandon.
Most of the other blog posts have already talked about all of the amazing things we have been seeing on this trip, but it really cannot be emphasized enough how incredible this entire experience has been. I've been lucky enough to come to a place that most people will never have the opportunity to see in person, and I've been able to do everything from swimming with sharks to learning how to eat a coconut fresh from the tree (pro tip, when you are lacking a very large knife, you have to whack both sides of the husk before trying to rip it apart).
I don't want to sound like a broken record, so I won't spend too much time discussing what it's like living on a boat (it rocks) and I won't go on about all of the amazing coral and sea life that we have seen (trust me, it's unbelievable). And even with everything we've already done, it's not even close to being over yet. Tomorrow, we head to Nikumaroro atoll, and then on to Winslow reef, so let the adventures continue!
Shout out to my fam, I love you guys, give Boomer a hug for me!
- Janell Donegan, University of Utah, A Watch Baby