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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
April 30, 2014
C252 Web Blog - 30 April 2014
Docked in St. George’s, Bermuda
Partly cloudy, 19°C, winds East Force 2,
Hello People of the Land,
What an incredible day for the Cramerites in Bermuda! Although we rose early, we eagerly rode the bus to the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) where we boarded their boat. To do what you may ask? To go snorkeling off of the northern coral reefs. Our trusty staff: Sam the A-watch deckhand, Dr. John Jenson our policy professor, Robbie from the BAMZ, Caleb from the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Solvin the photographer from Geo Magazine came along for the adventure. For some of us (like me) this was not only our first time snorkeling, but our first time among coral reefs.
The waters were rough at first and learning to breathe out of your mouth instead of your nose was challenging. At this initial site, there was not only a coral reef but also a ship wreck to view as we swam among the parrot fish! The second reef was much calmer than the first, and even though there was not a ship wreck, the fish were pretty amazing. I greatly enjoyed actually being able to see the behavior of fish that I have learned about so many times in class. Watching the territorial behaviors of angelfish and seeing butterfly fish delicately swimming through the corals was incredible.
What could possibly follow an amazing morning of snorkeling? Falling asleep on the boat afterwards of course!
Once the boat docked, we got a behind the scenes tour of BAMZ, courtesy of the amazing Dr. Robbie Smith. Some students got to pet a massive black grouper in the aquarium named Darth (thats right, as in Darth Vader). We also witnessed a green moray eel cuddling with a hogfish yes, cuddling.
The zoo portion of BAMZ was set up by zones, the largest being a Malaysian zone (with Lemurs), an Australasian area and a Caribbean zone. There was an animal commonly referred to as a Bear-cat something that I have never seen before. Its fur is like a bear and it can climb like a bear, but it has a tail like a cat. Connor and Mandy got to pet two Galapagos tortoises. The first tortoise was named Sally who is 48 years old and considered to be in her prime! The other Crooked Nose was about 98 years old! We were given a tour of the Zoos animal hospital as well, where the veterinarian explained how some of the equipment worked including a blood analyzer.
The museum portion of BAMZ was beautifully done. The displays forced you to actually think about what you were seeing through interactive games such as trying to find all the animals in the display. Robbie took us to the library area of the museum where he and a couple others work. It was gorgeous (to marine researchers) with so many binders, books, and journals ! On our way out of BAMZ, there was a peacock in the pathway displaying his lovely peahens.
Today was absolutely incredible. And I know the students of C-252 cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us.
To my familyI realized I did not say “hi” in my last blog, so I am making sure I do it this time HI (I miss you, I can’t wait to see you and tell you all about my trip Ill be home soon and then you will be too excited for me to go back to school)! To my friends at USC, I know you’re jealous, and you should be because this is amazing (talk to Shelley, you must experience this before graduation). To my non-USC friends, I miss yall too, and I will be back soon.