Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Winding down...

We left Roatan after field trips to lagoons, the fore and back reefs, the rocky shore, and the mangrove habitats. Each ecosystem was amazing to observe and were teaming with life! Divers logged between 8 and 10 dives including a shark dive for 3 of the divers and a night dive for 6. The deepest dive of the week hit about 85 feet, with a few brave students dipping down to 90! We taxonomically identified over 120 different fish, algae, invertebrate and terrestrial species - including the monkey lala lizard, the agouti (a rabbit-like rodent), iguanas, tarantulas, and a variety of bird and plant species of the tropical forest. Special highlights included the dolphin encounter and snorkel, observation of nearly 10 different hawks bill sea turtles, and also squid, moray eels, and spotted eagle rays.

A very special thanks to all of the staff at Anthony's Key Resort and the Roatan Institute of Marine Science (RIMS). Also a very, very special thanks to Jennifer Keck, the educational director at RIMS; and also Hector our dive master, and Roger the boat captain. Thank you so much!

And also a huge thank you from the entire class to Dr. Zimm and his wife Gail, who made the trip possible and pretty stress free. Thank you greatly for this opportunity!!

Dr. Zimm and his wife squeezed in one last kayak before we left.

Zipline Canopy Tour!

Hector - our dive master and undersea guide.

We will certainly miss the diving in Roatan!

Our boat was the "Haydee" - she was a great vessel.

We sure don't get sunsets like this back home!

We'll return someday soon!

Dance Champs!!

I forgot to mention that during our trip, we not only excelled studiously, but on the dance floor as well! During the Wednesday night fiesta/bbq on Anthony's Key, there was a limbo contest and also a dance-off. Needless to say, Lycoming took 1st place in BOTH contests! We sure showed everyone how it's done!

Dance Off Winners - Lycoming Dance Clubs' very own... Mitch and Kayla

King and Queen of Limbo - Mitch and Allison

After the dance contest, Mitch and Allison taught us a little swing dancing!

Nobody was hurt in the making of these photos! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're home!

Sorry for the long delay between posts again - but we are home! The last few days in Roatan where great - diving, interesting lectures, canopy tour, and much more! We were sad to leave, however I think many of us will return to Roatan someday soon. We have another week of class to review things from our trip and have a final lab exam. More posts will follow this one with even more pictures!

A Brittle Star.

A Sea Urchin we found in the algea.

A very huge Cushion Star.

This was a great grandpa hermit crab.

Everyone had a blast at the Dolphin Encounter.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle munching on a sponge.

More gigantic sea sponges.

Snorkelers had a blast, too!

Diving the reefs was amazing!

Different varieties of plant life.

An alpha male parrot fish.

Visiting the rocky shore on the western end of Roatan.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The fun hasn't ended!!

We've been keeping busy everyday - between lectures, dives, and a few moments of free time to do whatever, we are simply having a blast. We had a BBQ last night on Anthony's Key which included a hermit crab race, a dance off, limbo, and some great food. We also did a night snorkel in order to try and spot some nocturnal critters, and found a variety of octopus, sea cucumbers, sea worms, urchins, and many other night-time organisms!

Relaxing pool side.

Tarantulas roamed the hillside!

Summer with a smile after a great snorkel.

A Cushion Sea Star.

Captain Cody driving the boat home from Osgood Key.

The Ladies - at the BBQ.

The Men - at the BBQ.

Trying to break open a coconut!

Lunch on the Key.

Ruin replicas on Osgood Key.

It's limbo time!

A curious octopus spotted on the night snorkel.

Divers hover above a gigantic sea sponge.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another great day!!!

Despite some drizzles on and off all morning and into the afternoon, we had yet another amazing day. Today we started off with the dolphin encounter - meeting and greeting some dolphins up close and personal, and then getting a chance to snorkel and play with them. After that, we headed by boat for about a 40 minute trip to Osgood Key which is located near the airport on the southern side of Roatan. On our way we stopped to dive/snorkel on a "fringing reef" (opposed to the barrier reefs we've been diving to the north). At Osgood Key, we had lunch and observed a few exotic animals they take care of on the key. We left Osgood, headed back for the resort, and stopped for yet another dive into the warm water. We then caught a gogreous sunset, at dinner, and headed out for a night snorkel. Those pics will come soon... but enjoy these for now! :)

Heading to Osgood Key.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle, eating a sea sponge.

Sea cucumber!

Divers unite! (spot the oddball out?)

Baby Hawksbill Sea Turtle - only about a foot in length.

Spiney Lobster - no pincers like their cousins up in Maine.

A chilly boat ride home as it rained!

Replica temple ruins from local isalnds.

Dolphin encounter - SO MUCH FUN!!!

Wave good-bye!!

Gathering for dinner.

Wonderful sunsets!

Stomachs are full after a great dinner - we're happy!

Carambola Gardens - many different varities of tropical plants/trees to look at.