Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reef Growth, Rainbow, and More!

Again, we've keeping very busy as we approach our final two weeks at Midway.  Don and Kristin have been continuing bivalve surveys at sites inside the atoll, as well as measuring reef growth on the exposed reef rim at two sites on the east side of the atoll.  Here Don measures reef growth using a contour gauge suspended between three bolts permanently deployed on the reef crest.

FWS volunteers Dani and Eamon helped Kristin remove her spat collectors and buoys on Saturday and Sunday.  Kristin conducted her final check of all of the spat collectors sitting in a very pleasant shaded spot along the harbor seawall.  A manta ray came to visit several times, a rainbow appeared over the harbor, and a juvenile monk seal played nearby.

On Monday (Labor Day - no rest for these busy Coral Reefers!), Don also helped Kristin check her cages and tiles for survival and growth of pearl oysters with restricted and unrestricted predation (e.g., caging).  Don discovered a ledge and caves hosting at least 12 big lobsters at the Pinctada Patch site!

Between her continuing neck and shoulder problems and a deep cut on her hand, Anne can't go in the water at all.  Instead she's been working with Don to build a frame for and test our underwater video camera, which can be deployed overnight and uses infrared illuminators.

On a lighter note, the Coral Reefers enjoyed barbecued hamburgers, potato salad, and lots of other yummy foods at the annual Labor Day party on Saturday night.  Although the promised horseshoe and volleyball games never happened, several people (including FWS volunteers Amelia and Dani) did play Guitar Hero on the Wii!

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