Today we went hunting with our cameras for manta IDs again! We joined Dive Komodo, and our first dive site was Batu Bolong.
Batu Bolong is a beautiful dive site with hundreds of fish swimming around, and we recorded several a whitetip reef sharks and Napoleons wrasse on our eco-logbooks. We also practiced our fish ID, which was a real challenge with so many fish! During the dive we saw three hawksbill turtles – one came so close to me that I felt my heart skip a beat! Unfortunately we didn’t find any mantas on Batu Bolong.
Before the dive, Dita gave a presentation about mantas and explained about the Manta Code of Conduct. The guests seemed very excited to learn about manta rays!
We also talked with Andy about the data he’d given us the night before. He’d given us a huge database – over 1,000 rows of data and 15 variables – and had challenged us to find any trends or relationships in the data. Today we learned some simple but effective tips to quickly check for correlations in a data set. All we have to do is plot a scatter graph. Easy!
After a short break we went to our second dive at Karang Makassar. We all hoped to see lots of mantas on this dive because we always find them on this site. Sadly on this day they were nowhere to be found. Even though we did not find mantas today, we cannot give up yet! We still have plenty of time to take manta IDs and reach our target of 1,000 photos this month!
At 7pm we went to Blue Marlin to meet with the local dive operators and other members of the community, to prepare for tomorrow’s event. Tomorrow is Labuan Bajo Cleanup Day, and we will join the local community to clean trash from Labuan Bajo’s rivers. We’re looking forward to working with the community to help make Labuan Bajo a cleaner place and reduce the amount of plastic trash that makes its way to the ocean.