Bermuda Trip, August 2014:

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9:00 PM Monday, August 18. After a long day of travel, we made it! We arrived at 3:00 PM, had a tour of BIOS, a short practice snorkel, dinner, and an introductory lecture. Here is a photo of Quin and Ben having coffee at 7:00 AM and getting mentally prepared for the day with Ferry Reach in the background. This is the view from the BIOS balcony where we eat breakfast and dinners.

Photo of students on the balcony


photo of students snorkeling in Whalebone Bay

Tuesday, August 19. Part of the group snorkeling in Whalebone Bay. We examined outcrops along the hike to Whalebone Bay, and then spent about 2 hours exploring shallow carbonate environments. We had lunch on the beach and then examined an ancient beach and eolian dune complex in outcrops on the way back along the north shore. After everyone got cleaned up and changed clothes, we spent a three hours in the lab and then had dinner followed by a wrap-up discussion and lecture.


Student diving

Quin collecting a sample from the seafloor.


Group talking in the ocean

Discussing some of the organisms and sediments on the seafloor in Whalebone Bay.


photo of student along rocky coast

Amanda wanted to stay here and build a house on this spot!


Students on boat

Wednesday, August 20. We went out on the boat (Research Vessel Henry Stommel) to some spectacular reefs on the South Shore.

Photo of students diving underwater

Students diving on a patch reef near Arches on the South Shore.


Charles Island and beach

We snorkeled up to this beach and then hiked up to the top of an ancient eolian dune on Charles Island.


Stoplight Parrotfish

The a high-energy, wave-swept passages between the islands are perfect habitats for parrot fish like this blue terminal phase adult male stoplight parrot fish.


Student snorkeling over a blue stoplight parrotfish

Amanda watching a parrot fish chomp on rocks.


An adult rainbow parrot fish about 30 inches long.


Students snorkeling to beach

The beach assault.


photo os students sitting near the beach

Some of the group just resting up after snorkeling around (did not circumnavigate) part of the island.


Students working in laboratory

Working in the laboratory to identify organisms that are in the sediment around the reefs.


photo of student holding a sea cucumber

Ashley holding a sea cucumber (holothurian) at Hall's Island, Harrington Sound.


photo of student holding samples

Karch collecting some sediment from Bailey's Bay.


students working on microscopes in the lab

Kelsey, Chelsea, and Ashley examining samples from Harrington Sound.


photo of group unloading the boat

End of another excursion on the boat.


photo of interior of cave

Friday, August 22. We started out our day of cave and karst study in Fantasy Cave, which has very nicely preserved straws, stalactites, and helictites hanging from the ceiling.


photo of water table in Fantasy Cave

A layer of freshwater about 6 feet thick floating on top of 20 feet of seawater in Fantasy Cave. We had to check this out and snorkel in this groundwater system (see below)! 


students swiming in cave

Friday, August 22. Swimming in a freshwater lens in a cave. Quin is standing on a "drowned" stalagmite.


Student group in cave

The group in one of the caves we explored.


Photo of Cassiopeia jellyfish

A large benthic jellyfish (Cassiopeia sp.) in Walsingham Pond (a large sinkhole created when part of a large cave collapsed).


photo of students snorkeling in a giant sinkhole

Friday, August 22. Snorkeling in a large sinkhole (Walsingham Pond) that is about 60 feet deep. I "remembered" that there used to be a large (4 feet long) barracuda living in this murky, deep, collapsed cave after we finished our snorkel and were all out! (I think I might have been snorkeling alone if I had mentioned this fact earlier.)



Photo of students working on their notebooks

Sunday, August 24. Ben and Chelsea back at BIOS working on their notebooks.


Photo of students working on their notebooks

Ben, Lauren and Piper working on their notebooks at BIOS.


photo of BIOS main building

BIOS. Wright Hall is where we stayed and ate breakfast and dinner everyday.



Students were able to go on this trip with financial help from generous donations made by alumni of the trip, Kelley and Hendrik Steffen-Braaksma, Dr. John Rivers, and generous support from the ExxonMobil foundation.

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