Fall Collecting Trip: Guest Blogger - Jim Duffey

Back for blog Number Two! [Read Jim's previous post from this trip!]

The past three days have been very busy and fun--a total of 10 dives and lots of fishes collected. Saturday's dives were at two different sites: Green Heads and South Turtle Rocks (two dives at each site). I would have to say that the highlight of the day was definitely the grunt round-up lead by Captain John. We went after a school of mostly French grunts located under an overhanging ledge. Three "drivers" drove the grunts toward the "catcher". The tactic worked great and we collected about 20 grunts.

Jim in open water

Sunday saw three dives, all at a spot called Frank and John's. Collected a variety of animals--some inverts with Dave Wedge from the Fishes Department and a great collector. The second dive of the day focused more on fishes with me teaming up with Suzanne and Dave. We had good success with both brown and blue cromis and a beautiful spotfin butterflyfish. The third dive of the day was a night dive. We had some navigation issues and weren't able to do any collecting, but the good news is that we found our way back to the boat.

Monday saw yet another three dives: two at Pacquet Rocks and one at South Turtle Rocks. The highlights of the collecting were juvenile gray angelfish and another spotfin butterflyfish along with a stoplight parrotfish.

Grey Angelfish

On a personal note, there is a really great group of people on this trip. Everyone is cheerful and willing to help out. The Aquarium staff--Sarah Taylor, Bill Murphy, Dave Wedge, Emily Milinazzo and Samantha Benton--are absolutely fantastic. And the two captains--John and Lou--are equally great! I am very, very lucky to be on this trip with such great people!

-- Jim

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