West Pagan, 7/11/2013

UXO removing storm debris

UXO removing storm debris (ours)

The winds and swell have died down, and the weather looks perfect at least for the next couple of days of dive operations and turtle observation.

We started the day recovering our carefully laid transect tapes and buoys, which the storm had tossed and scrambled.

Victor quadrat

Recording coral data within a sandy quadrat

We were able to conduct two more surveys in the protected black sand bay on the west, and I was able to revisit the garden eels and shrimp gobies that I couldn’t identify. Garden eel - closeup1

I have better pictures, but am still in the dark. I have sent the images off for help.  Anyone?

V. puellaris

Valenciennea puellaris

The turtle observers hiked almost the entire day and did see both Hawksbills and Greens; they returned to the bay bushed and sore and soaked in the bay for awhile to cool off. They left early this morning to avoid another midday hike, as today will be a scorcher.

We are moving up the coast a bit today, now that the swell has settled down, likely similar habitat; black sand bay with wave swept rocks on the sides, falling deeply away about 200m from shore. I am seeing some fish shallow, that are more common to me in deeper water, which makes me think the deep water is mixing up regularly. The bathymetry here would be excellent for a deep rebreather expedition, with drop offs and multi level sites. The biodiversity also seems high – we are well over 150 fish species from one location.Chromis and Paracanthurus hepatus head


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