Yesterday was a great boat day. We were all at the dock at 8 am, and out on the water by 8:30. We immediately set out for Kwajalein Atoll's West Reef. This involved heading out of the lagoon through the man-made SAR (Search And Rescue) pass. The plan was to get video footage of SAR pass by dragging a GoPro through the channel but the waves were too rough and it was too shallow to put it in the water. So we continued on toward Gea.
Once in the water we were able to record the odd channel-like grooves on Gea. There are multiple of them, all and they all lead up to the island.
Gea proved to have a lot of life, even though the coral present seemed to be struggling. Bleached and algae-covered coral dominate most of the area, but pillow starfish and sea urchins and clams were abundant. We even were able to catch a glimpse of a sea turtle and see a pair of dolphins play for a minute.
Once we left Gea we headed back into the lagoon through South Pass (between Carlos and Carlson). This time we were able to drag the GoPro and image the natural pass and much of the lagoon dropoff on the way to Carlson. Once at Carlson we circled the Prinz Eugen, attempting to get better images than last time off of the GoPro setup.
On our last pass by the ship the clamp attaching the GoPro to the handline snapped. We then had to circle back around to look for it. Thankfully, we saw it and a friend jumped in and was able to retrieve it. She completely saved over two hours of video we had collected that morning. Thank you Danielle!
Clemson Geopaths Intern