Thursday, September 25, 2008

adventurous snorkeling on day 2 @ Hedo

While a group chose the close beach of Oku to go snorkeling (maybe to be sure to be on time for breakfeast...), another group decided to go check the entrance down the cliff at Hedo. The access was exciting but worth it. We snorkeled a bit toward the Cape, but we soon met some strong current pushing us away so we decided to swim back and rather explore tidepools where we met lots of spanish dancers (YH maybe fell in love...) and some very nice zoanthids...

TF, our guide

YI and YH following

The new love of YH

YI, YH and TF

Camping @ Cape Hedo - Day 3

Thanks to the air conditioning, people wake up slightly later today.

8:30am: Breakfast - pancakes! By YH and YS.
8:30-10am: Cleaning up and packing.
10am: Check out. We hit the road heading south from Cape Hedo along the eastern coast of Okinawa.
11am: Arrive at Yona Tunnel dive point, thanks to guidance by TF. Everyone except YS and M&M head for the water.
12:30pm: Back on the beach. Nice dive, lots of current and zoanthids. Find some rare unknown specimens, and Parazoanthus gracilis too.
2pm: Lunch in Nago, at a soba restaurant near YI's parents' home.
5pm: Everyone is back at the university, cleaning and unpacking.

A great trip! As is said in Japanese, "otsukare sama"!

Picture: The alien world of Yona Tunnel point.

Camping @ Cape Hedo - Day 2

HOT! The heat wakes most people (except M) up at about 6:30 or 7.
7am: Off to Oku Beach for a quick snorkel! Nice way to wake up.
8am: Breakfast - wow, like a restaurant - by ES and MH.
9:30am: Off to the beach for a dive - some people go to Oku, others to Hedo for a more adventurous entrance. Great dives, not too deep, but lots of coral and zoanthids.
1pm: Everyone is back at the bungalow. The river is a perfect way to wash the saltwater out of your wetsuit.
1:30pm: Lunch - okonomiyaki by YI and TF. Amazingly, no bones in it!
2:30pm: More people off for the next dive.
5pm: Back again. Frisbee, naps, or relaxing.
7pm: BBQ dinner again - JDR and MR make pork ribs with sauce.
9pm: Night dive or snorkel - Oku. Lots of lobster out and about. Very dark night, you can see Yoron Island and the Milky Way.
11:30pm: TF starts preparing seafood; like an "inaka izakaya". Poker breaks out.
3am: The end of poker, bedtime with the aircon on - we have learned from yesterday.

Picture: The perfect place for research! Oku Beach.

Camping @ Cape Hedo - Day 1

Hello - back from a great camping trip to Cape Hedo at the northern end of Okinawa. All members except MO (in Singapore) were able to participate. Weather was great, dives were fine, and everyone managed to dive or snorkel and get some research done.

As camping was 3 days - I will just do a quick overview of each day, so to start here is Day 1.

10 am: FS, TF, YI and JDR meet at Seatopia and fill up their cars with 28 tanks!
11 am: YM starts getting sampling gear ready in the lab with MH.
12 noon: Leave the university. BIG RAIN - uh oh.
2:30 pm: Shopping for food in Nago.
4:30 pm: Arrive in Oku and check in.
5:00 pm: A quick trip to Oku Beach for a snorkel.
8:30 pm: Dinner - chicken BBQ by FS and YM.
10:00 pm: Poker - taught by JDR, but he loses big - MH is the big winner.

Everyone falls asleep before midnight after a long day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lab Meeting 2008.9.17

Lots to discuss today...

1. Lab camping next week at Cape Hedo-misaki. We have rented a bungalow for two nights - everyone can come except MO, who will be in Singapore at Raffles Biodiversity Museum. Camping details...
a. Groups of two people will be responsible for one meal each. JDR will get some meat for BBQs this weekend. All food costs willl be divided evenly.
b. We need 28 tanks!!
c. Bring sleeping bags, fun stuff, and drinks too (juice, etc.).
d. JDR, FS, YI, and YM will drive cars.
e. Each person needs to pay about 1500 yen for the two nights to JDR.

Also, normal meeting items...
2. Slippers for the lab for YH and YS. YH needs to explain lab rules to YS.
3. JDR and YS will snorkel at Convention Center this Friday from 10am - Zoanthus spp. identification practice and snorkeling practice.
4. FS kindly asks that when you are doing experiments to put your slippers back on the shelf to not crowd the entrance.
5. ES, MO, and YM will get ocean water for the lab tanks from Sesoko. If this doesn't work we will switch back to weekly responsibility for everyone.
6. Please write your name on the hub end of the LAN cables in the student room. The hub has 7 ports, and there are 9 students - this is necessary to avoid disconnecting people from the net inadvertantly. Another hub has been ordered and should arrive soon.

Picture today of an Epizoanthus illoricatus colony at 30m at Manza.

JCRS update

One more short note. It looks like JDR, YM, YI, and TF will all attend the 11th JCRS Conference in Shizuoka. Great news!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008.9.10 Meeting

Meeting notes from today - at 1 p.m. instead of 4.

Absent - MH and YH diving, TF in Yaeyama, ES at a practical course, and MO on his way to or from the airport.
Present - FS, YM, YS, YI, and JDR.

1. Typhoon coming! Check IMOC for details, but this nasty storm has cancelled the trip to Kumejima this weekend. Make sure all dive gear is inside, and no computers or electronic gear are near windows. Shut all windows as well.
2. 11th Japan Coral Reef Conference is in Shizuoka this year, Nov. 22-24. Application deadline for presentations is September 26th. If possible, it is highly recommended to go. Confirmed attendees: JDR, hoping others may come!
3. Sasagawa Scholarships for Research: MO received this for this year, so if you want to apply (4th years who are continuing and YM), see MO for advice and help.
4. Printer in the student room is out of ink. New ink has been ordered, but if you need something printed soon, use JDR's in his office.
5. For 3rd years:
a. lab fees (for stationary and other supplies that are too complicated and wasteful to get from the Uni) are 200 yen each month. Please put the money in the jar on the fridge, and check off the payment on the sheet on the fridge.
b. Slippers for the lab!
c. YH and YS - bring computers to hook up to the network.

See you next week - important meeting as we discuss Hedo camping.

Today's picture is MH starting her research at Manza. Great dives last week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nudibranch ID

The nudibranch from the picture below seems to be Cadlinella ornatissima...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008.9.3 Meeting

Quick lab meeting today, and not many people in attendance (FS being a tour guide, ES at a practical course, YS in Osaka, and YM and YH missing in action).

Here is a brief review of what was discussed:
1. This Friday dive/snorkel at Convention Center. 3rd years can practice field IDs of Zoanthus spp., and YI will do a transect or two.
2. Showed MH how to use the experiment room. She will then tell YS and YH, and the final person will make a word file with the rules to be posted in the lab.
3. 3rd years - buy slippers for the lab ASAP.

We then looked at the unused (relatively) common Biology rooms 305 and 306A. We may try to make a good microscope workstation in the room, depending on JDR's ability to find funding.

Today's picture is from Manzamo this Monday... does anyone know what species these two nudibranchs are?