We have had an exciting two days on Caye Caulker. We had the amazing experience of learning reef monitoring techniques from the experts at MarAlliance. We learned about swimming transects along the reef to count predator fish and assess their populations. We also had the chance to drop BRUVs (Baited Remote Underwater Videos) which are a way to see exactly what is coming to eat bait along the reef, a great way to assess biodiversity. The experts at MarAlliance then surprised everyone with a stop at the local Caye Caulker Shark Ray Alley where everyone got the rare opportunity to swim with southern stingrays and nurse sharks. Most of the students were in agreement that this was the highlight of the trip to this point.

tudents studying a loggerhead turtle as it cruised by in Hol Chan Marine Reserve. | Photo: Drew Sulock

Students studying a loggerhead turtle as it cruised by in Hol Chan Marine Reserve. | Photo: Drew Sulock

Today we took a full day snorkel trip with French Angel to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the oldest marine protected area in the Caribbean. We saw a rather healthy reef and large fish populations before heading to the Shark Ray Alley of Hol Chan. It was exciting to see so many sharks and rays! The highlight of the day was certainly finding two manatees right next to the reef. For many of us this was the first time we have seen this species and a moment not to be forgotten.

Lily T. checks out a southern stingray a the Caye Caulker Shark Ray Alley. | Photo: Drew Sulock

Lily T. checks out a southern stingray a the Caye Caulker Shark Ray Alley. | Photo: Drew Sulock

The southern stingray is one of the most majestic swimmers on the reef, gliding along the sandy bottom of the ocean. | Photo: Drew Sulock

The southern stingray is one of the most majestic swimmers on the reef, gliding along the sandy bottom of the ocean. | Photo: Drew Sulock

We have one more day here on Caye Caulker and are excited to explore more of the island before our planned sunset sail. What a trip it has been!

Spending the day in Hol Chan Marine Reserve was a perfect way to wrap up the trip. Cruising with turtles, rays, and manatees… | Photo: Drew Sulock

Spending the day in Hol Chan Marine Reserve was a perfect way to wrap up the trip. Cruising with turtles, rays, and manatees… | Photo: Drew Sulock