Fall Collecting Trip #4: All systems 'GO'... almost

I am sitting here enjoying a fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookie at the end of three long, wonderful days. All of our participants arrived today and everything is ready for our departure early tomorrow morning. We will leave the dock at 6 a.m., head down the Miami River, and cross the Gulf Stream arriving in Bimini around noon. I am really looking forward to getting out on the water. I've got to admit, the picture of the boat posted earlier was from a past trip, when they were already out of Miami. The picture below is of the boatyard where we are actually moored, as well as the view from deck.

The R/V Coral Reef II docked in Miami, before our voyage to the Bahamas.

The view from our dock in Miami

Tonight after dinner, Sarah talked to us all about logistics of the trip. She and Dave showed us proper collecting techniques, and talked to us about what to expect and how to cope with the inevitable disappointment of coming back from a dive empty handed. Captain John addressed the group after Sarah to talk about boat safety and life aboard the boat.

Sarah and Dave demonstrate collecting techniques.

Although everyone is sleepy, either from traveling or prepping the boat, there is palpable excitement amongst the inhabitants of the RV Coral Reef II. We are all really looking forward to getting out on the water tomorrow!

However, there is one small piece of bad news tonight – the satellite hub that would have enabled me to stay connected at sea did not arrive in time for our departure. That means that I will not be able to post updates until we return to Miami on October 28. I realize that I you are all hanging on my every word in these posts, but while you are waiting, I really encourage you to check out the other active blogs on the site – the New England Aquarium always has something going on!

-- Emily

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