Monday, January 26, 2015

FTV Hiking, Snorkeling, and Kayaking Trip in St. Thomas


My freshmen sea term I didn't get the opportunity to participate in an excursion, so this year I made sure to take advantage of the hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking trip in St. Thomas, and I ended up having a great day!

We started off by mustering at the T.S. Kennedy on the pier at 0910, from there we took a 15 minute taxi to the EcoTour building and went over rules and instructions from our tour guide Maggie. She went over how to properly kayak, wear a snorkeling mask, and of course reiterated how important sunscreen and drinking water were throughout the day. 
After the intro we partnered up and loaded ourselves in tandem kayaks and got underway. We kayaked through a red mangrove forest which happened to be the only mangrove forest left on St. Thomas and a marine sanctuary! We took a break halfway to learn about the mangroves and the marine organisms that make their home in the roots growing directing from the sediment. 

After we continued on our way to Red Rock Island where, ironically, there was a huge red rock we hiked to. 

We learned about a few different plants, some were poisonous and some were not, learned about the animals living in the environment, and even had a hermit crab race!   Watch this!


Afterward we turned around and hiked back to the kayaks grabbed our snorkel masks and got in the water. We snorkeled along the edge of the mangrove forest to see the small juvenile fish living there for protection, and snorkeled a little ways off where we saw fish with all those amazing colors you see in a National Geographic special.


The water was incredibly clear and pretty shallow, so we got to get up close with a lot of the marine life. There were Sergeant Majors, different Trigger Fish, Goat Fish, Parrot fish, and even a shark and barracuda! 

All in all it was a great experience and I’m definitely glad I went!
 frin 1/c Kelci Sullivan

Try this activity to understand how salinity can affect aquatic species and how marine creatures have 
evolved ways for dealing with living in saline environment.

Watch a video: Where the tropical ocean meets the sea, a peculiar kind of plant thrives in shallow, salty water. These mangrove plants are incredibly important for shoreline protection and baby fi sh habitats. Jonathan investigates life in mangroves by visiting both Caribbean and Pacific mangroves. These mangrove plants are incredibly important for shoreline protection and baby fish habitats. Here is a study guide to use as you watch the video

The Great Barracuda found here in the Caribbean can grow up to 6 feet in length. It has a large mouth containing two sets of razor-sharp teeth.

Build your own fish from a paper plate, decorate it, and learn about the function of each of their fish’s fins in the process.

Examine the different techniques that three fish use to feed. Goatfish, parrotfish and long nose butterflyfish each live and feed on coral reefs in a different way.

CONTRASTS IN BLUE: Contrast Life on the Caribbean Coral Reef and the Rocky Coast of Maine.

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