Spring Collecting Trip #3: And we're off!

When I sent in this earlier blog post, I was sitting with my laptop on the asphalt at the Jones Boatyard in Miami, picking up a wireless internet signal being broadcast from a yacht docked nearby. All of the trip participants arrived soon after that--there are four paid Aquarium staff, two captains, a cook, and eight paying participants. The participants are SCUBA divers who are interested in taking part in the expedition, so those spots are available to anybody who’s SCUBA certified and willing to pay their way onto the trip. (More info here!)

After spending last night on the boat, today we traveled up the Miami River and over into the Bahamas--about 60 miles in total. Bridges had to come up just for us when we passed under them. I think it made all of us feel pretty important.

Right now we’re anchored a few miles offshore of Bimini Island. Earlier we did our first collecting dive, and had what Sherrie seemed to think was a surprising amount of success for a first try. Here are some highlights.

One participant caught these balloonfish:

Another got this trumpetfish:

Here are my first catches—two banded butterflyfish and a bluehead wrasse. I feel an embarrassing amount of pride about having caught them.

There’s really nothing quite like catching a fish using the methods that we do on this trip. It’s really, really hard, but so, so fun and exciting. Soon I’ll post about how it’s done.


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