Great news! We finally got our trip fish: the spotted drum (Equetus punctatus). It was a two dive mission. On the first dive the whole group was involved in catching timid fish called copper sweepers but during that dive one of the participants noticed a spotted drum. At the time he had no nets so he took some pictures and noted the location. Slyly and perhaps wisely he kept this information secret. The only person he told was Captain Lou, who happens to be one of the best fish catchers. On the next dive it took all of three minutes for Lou to scoop the fish up and then the participant was awarded a shirt that featured our boat, the Coral Reef II.
spotted drum (from fishbase.org)
It is nearing the end of our trip and our dives are becoming more recreational as there are less fish to catch. We have a few relaxing dives left in the crystal clear 85 degree water. Then tonight we will step onto land for the first time in a week as we explore Alice Town in Bimini. As for fish collecting, Sherrie has informed us that we have almost all the fish on the list and in record time. Our fish wells are full of beautiful fishes and invertebrates that, after a little quarantine time, will be on display in our Giant Ocean Tank, Tropical Gallery, or Blue Hole Tank. To prepare them for their new home there is a lot of work to be done. By now the staff and the participants are all become one giant team that is excited to do what it takes. Stay tuned for the exhilarating madness of pack day and the fishes' first flight in an airplane.
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Aquarium divers go on several daily dives to care for the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank (GOT) as well as lead expeditions to the Bahamas.