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Day Three

Today we were in Ras Mohammed again, and heading to Marsa Bareika to do our first snorkel, attempting to identify the hard coral species. This is a bit easier than fish identification, because the corals as a rule, don't move away as soon as you approach! I managed to find most of the 16 species on my card, and was able to pick out certain species at a glance by the end of the day - yay.

After the first snorkel, the second task was to do the 6-point abundance scale for the coral species. This is actually much harder than the fish abundance scale, as an individual fish is one count, but with the corals how do you take into account the size of the colony? I have to admit the estimation method I find very frustrating, as i'm never sure if I've counted places twice and screwed up the results. At least the reefs at Marsa Bareika were more abundant and the visibility was a hundred times better than Marsa Ghozlani, and I managed to find two little Lemon Coral Gobies - cute!

Before we left the national park, we headed to Shark Observatory and climbed up the steps to the very top. From here you can see Travco marina and Sharm el Sheikh to your left, with Shark and Yolanda reefs and the Gulf of Suez to the right. It's an amazing view and obviously a team photo was in order!

In the evening we had a lecture on the advantages and disadvantages of different reef survey methods, and we were going back to today's reef tomorrow to try out two different methods. Real science at last!!

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