Life below the surface

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Hi friends and fam! I’ve been busy diving 3 times a day and entering data in the evenings. My days run from about 6:30 am until 10 or 11 pm. It’s exhausting, but I absolutely love what I’m doing!

The Great Barrier Reef is beautiful and has magnificent diversity. There’s so much more to this environment than the photos you’ve seen and the rumors you’ve heard. I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences and images that you’ll have a chance to look through the surface as a scientist and ocean advocate.

If you’d like to follow blog posts from this mission, check out the blog on the Living Ocean Foundation’s website.

In other news, a lab mate of mine has applied for a project through National Geographic to study the little-studied reef environments below some of the most famous surf breaks in the world! Mapping these environments will help both scientists and surfers to better understand the environments beneath these famous waves. Click here to check out their video, and please vote to support this amazing project in coral reef science!

Funny money and airport “showers”

It’s nice to be back in the land of Oz, but that flight is something else. In total, it took me 23 hours to get from San Diego to Cairns – an hour flight to LA where I had a 3-hour layover, a 14-hour flight to Brisbane where I had another 3-hour layover, and a final 2-hour flight to Cairns. I decided to take out some money and get a latte and a journal during my final layover. I forgot how expensive things can be here, but I can’t help but smile at their colorful money.

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It’s funny how sitting for hours on end watching movies, taking naps, and reading can make you feel so gross. Whenever I’m traveling for a long period of time, I always like to take a “shower” kit with me. I find that these things can totally refresh me and make that final stretch, whether it’s a final flight or the ride home, so much more pleasant:
– facial makeup removing wipes
– refreshing body wipes
– toothbrush and travel toothpaste
– perfume roller or tester
– deodorant
– tinted moisturizer
– travel size stain remover

That stain remover came in handy during my last layover when I splashed coffee all over myself (I blame sleep deprivation and jet lag), as did my new stain resistant pants and waterproof phone case. Oops. At least I know myself well enough to have brought those items!

I am exhausted, running on adrenaline and excitement. It’s so great meeting new people and learning just how small the world of coral reef ecology is! It seems like everyone knows someone I know, and it’s so comforting knowing that I am among friends. As an additional perk, the food on board the Golden Shadow is incredible! Unfortunately I’m having trouble uploading photos, but I really hope to have some up soon!