|This teak-hulled ship washed up on Kingman in 2007.|
|Giant Tridacna clams on the sea floor|
We have returned to Palmyra for three more days, to finish our reef-based research projects, where we have been greeted by a series of insta-showers: bursts of rain and squally weather intermittent with sunshine. The weather won't stop our missions, though (most of which are in the water anyway!).
We'll be sending out boats to study coral color and diseases, the shipwreck on Palmyra, manta ray ecology, parasitism in corals, and hopefully some recreational snorkeling and island exploration as well. We all feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to visit two beautiful, remote Pacific islands, places that most of us would probably never be able to see otherwise.
We were fortunate to acquire the temporary company of Amanda Meyer, the US Fish and Wildlife Service agent in charge of Palmyra and Kingman, on our trip north to Kingman. She has been a fun addition and a wealth of knowledge about the islands and their coral and fish communities. We've also taken on Joe Bonventura, a professor at Duke and Barb Block's Ph.D. advisor, as company for the rest of our trip. We have appreciated a little new blood to shake up the ship, as well as the chance to talk with Joe about his research in fish respirometry, and we look forward to his continued company. Next, we sail on to Christmas Island! But first, a few more days of science and relaxation in this tropical, coconut-and-azure paradise.