Location: Cook's Bay, Mo'orea
What a beautiful sunrise we all woke up to! Last night was the first time we ever rotated through anchor watch during the night, so a couple of crewmates were slow getting up. We had breakfast and took down the dinghies for the first time to land at the local dock and walk on the main road of Moorea to see the Coral Gardeners, a coral reef restoration establishment created by young locals. While we were there, we were educated on the purpose of coral reefs and their relations to the ecosystems around them. We learned that these special young influencers are 85-90% successful in their restoration of coral reefs. Even Jack Johnson wore their merch at his concert in Tahiti! After the presentation, we restored coral reefs by attaching bamboo sticks with a natural epoxy to the fragmented corals. The group split in half, and one group went out to the coral tables to pick out a coral, name it, and then plant it in the “potato corals” while the other group played chicken fight in the water. The potato corals have holes that are drilled into them that the bamboo with the epoxy and fragmented coral piece fit into perfectly. After we planted our corals, we were able to adopt our coral with complete certification then optionally. Then it was time to go, and we all thanked the Coral Gardeners staff for their time with us, and we headed back to Argo for lunch then some diving! The open water class went in for their first confined open water sessions to learn and practice skills, and the already certified divers went for a checkout dive. After the open water dives, we prepared the boat for our guests from the Coral Gardeners crew to have dinner on Argo with us. We were able to interact with the locals some more and learn some unique traditions these people have been passing down from generation to generation such as reading the stars and navigating from Tahiti to Hawaii with just the palm of your hand. All in all, today was great!
Pictured: View from the Coral Gardeners headquarters; students gathered around to learn about coral transplanting; baby coral fragments; attaching coral fragments to bamboo sticks for transplantation; Garrison and Frank in their war paint/reef safe sunscreen; Argo from afar; sunset panorama while open water students worked on their confined water skills; scuba with a view for Amanda, Garrison, and Kari; Sam, Maddy, and Ryan on deck for sunset; Danny, Maddy, Sam, Ryan, Evan, and Cat in the cockpit before dinner; Argo crew with our Coral Gardeners visitors; group photo with the Coral Gardeners.