Sea time. Seal time.

My morning started abruptly when Kelcy grabbed my foot to wake me up. Last night we decided to do an early morning hike up the hill to watch the sunrise over the ocean, but I was still in REM when Kelcy was ready to go. I groggily got out of bed, brushed my teeth, & put on my hiking boots. At the top of the hill we ran into LJ & Madel for some good conversation, & beautiful views.

After breakfast we hopped aboard the Hawere, the labs marine vessel, for the second time. Jenni & Ros showed us how they collect under water acoustic data.

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We collected data at four different distances (other students will be using the data in class later on in the winter when the weather is not good enough to collect new data), & then set off for a cruise down the coast.

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Today’s boat group! (Minus Roland & Chayse) (PC: Ro)

On our coastal cruise we were lucky enough to see a pod of six dolphins!

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Bottlenose Dolphins we saw today. (PC Lexi)
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Bottlenose Dolphins (PC Lexi)
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The Dolphins saying goodbye after they got bored with us & swam away. (PC Lexi)

After returning to the bay we went back to the lab for lunch. Because our course final is tomorrow morning, we began to study as we ate. After lunch the other half of our group went out onto the Hawere, & we stayed back at the Lab.

Looking for any excuse not to study, Kelcy convinced me to go snorkeling one last time before we have to return our wet suits, & boy am I glad that she did. On our snorkel we saw loads of Snapper, Red Moki, a couple jelly fish, & many Rays (both Sting Rays & Eagle Rays).  Last, but certainly not least, after exploring a cave, Kelcy & I were lucky enough to sea a New Zealand Fur Seal!!!

Unfortunately, for the first time on this trip, I had a mishap with my GoPro, & did not manage to record any of these awesome sightings, so you’ll all have to take my word for it. Just so you get an idea of the incredible marine life we saw, here are some google images.

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This is a photo of a New Zealand Fur Seal.
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& This is what it looked like when we saw it today, except there was only one.
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Red Moki: Usually seen in pairs because they mate for life.
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New Zealand Snapper: Beautiful sparkly specks on their backs.
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One Sting Ray pictured on the far left, & two Eagle Rays on the right.

In all honesty I do not like snorkeling very much. I get freaked out about what is around me that I can’t see due to the limited peripheral vision & tend to feel very vulnerable. Regardless of feeling uncomfortable, todays snorkel was well worth it. Between all the marine life we saw & the cave we got to explore, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that swim. & that is why you should always push yourself out of your comfort zone. If I wouldn’t have, I would have never seen that seal today.

We finished the day with delicious stir fry, courtesy of Megan of course, studying for our exam, & more cards.

Todays US -> New Zealand Translation

Garbage = Rubbish

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