17. Bahamas 2013 | Ever-popular Sapona

2013 Bahamas Expedition | Round Three 
About a year and a half ago, this trip's blogger became an intern diver in the Giant Ocean Tank at the New England Aquarium. Luigi loved being at the Aquarium so much that he became a volunteer diver after his internship was over. He also joins Aquarium divers to help collect fish, under special permits, so that visitors in Boston can appreciate the splendor of a healthy Caribbean reef. After a top-to-bottom transformation, the Giant Ocean Tank is now teeming with fish like these! The New Aquarium Experience starts July 1.

For our third day of fish collecting we decided that we would start off with a wreck dive!  Today we dove the beautiful wreck of the Sapona.  If you Google the wreck, you can learn all about it's very interesting history.

At this particular location, we managed to collect a few different kinds of animals including some more grunts. The water seemed to be a little chilly during the dive this morning, but it turned out to be worth it because of a few of the amazing animals we got to see during our collecting. We saw a really cool little nudibranch...

a cute little balloonfish...

and even two Southern stingrays (just like the ones in the Giant Ocean Tank)!

After our dive at the Sapona, we moved on to another dive site called Floyd's. We did two dives on this site and managed to collect quite a few fish while we were there, including some juvenile angelfish who will be lucky enough to grow up happy and healthy in the brand new Giant Ocean Tank!  During our first dive at Floyd's, we were very fortunate to see a rather large shark in the distance. The dive team has a few guesses, but nobody has come up with a positive identification for this animal yet (due to my not-so-great photography abilities).  By looking at some of the different features, like the shape of the animal and the sizes of it's different fins, can you guess what kind of shark this is?

Right as we were about to jump into our second dive at this same site, we had already seen an animal at the surface behind the boat!  It was a Portuguese Man-O-War.

According to Chris, our jelly expert on board, these guys can have stinging tentacles up to five feet long (depending on how much they eat)! Make sure to check back to keep up with all of the exciting new animals we are encountering and collecting, which you can start to see in the Giant Ocean Tank!

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