A beautiful smooth trunkfish!

Since my last post, we’ve since arrived at the Blue Marlin Resort on South Water Caye. The caye is located farther north than the caye we were at previously (Lime Caye), and there have been variations in species while snorkeling. On the island, there are fewer bugs and more opportunities to see animals at night due to the numerous docks with lights. At night, we’ve seen countless Yellow, Whiptail, and Spotted Eagle stingrays, and I’ve even seen a huge nurse shark!

While snorkeling, I’ve encountered lots of new species. I’ve seen squid, octopi, parrotfish, crustaceans, sponges, wrasses, coral, algae, and lots of other animals and plants. One of the species of alga, the sea pearl, is one of the world’s largest single-celled organisms! Snorkeling every day has been so much fun, and every time I get out of the water, I wish I had spent more time in it.

A French angelfish peeking out at me from underneath the coral.

My research group, Team Conch, has made a lot of progress since arriving on the island. We were able to measure 76 queen conch at one spot, and we’re encouraged by the fact that most of them were alive. We hope to ask the locals about more spots where we can find more alive conch. The conch fishing season ended recently, so more of them might be reappearing in normal locations. Analysis of our findings has yet to be done, but we will begin on it soon.

It’s hard to imagine that we only have less than a week left in Belize. It simultaneously feels like we’ve been here forever and that we just got here. Whatever may happen on the final days of the trip, I know that I’ll retain the friends and memories that I’ve made when I get back to the States.