It’s day five of our Techniques in Marine Research class on the coast of Ecuador, part of me is still excited for our last stop on this journey while the other half of me wants to head back into Cumbaya. I haven’t been feeling the greatest but the last couple of days have been pretty great. We headed out to Ayangue, Ecuador on Friday January 27th. The bus ride was about 12 hours to the coast and jammed packed with activities like sleeping and eating snacks. We got to the first hotel around 7:30pm and had some dinner, nothing too exciting. That Saturday we had our first dives in Ecuador and that was insane. My group for diving headed out around 12:30pm and came back around 4:30pm or so. We dove at the site “El Pelado” in Ayangue and the view from underwater was unreal. I have only ever dove in the Boston Harbor and the visibility there was not so great. Sometimes I could barley see my hand, let alone the things right in front of me. Although visibility “El Pelado” weren’t the greatest, it was better than what I am use to. My group only got to see various fish, a moray eel, some starfish and sea urchins but it was still a great experience. We did two dives each at about 45mins each. The first dive I had some troubles equalizing but during the second dive there were no issues. The dive site had a statue of Jesus underwater which I'm not sure how it got there but it was cool to see and take pictures with.
Sunday, Monday and Today we did intertidal fieldwork to prepare data for our upcoming research papers. My groups (two other girls and I) job is photo identification, where we search through the high/mid/low intertidal zones taking pictures of different species and identifying them. Sunday we ventured off to a town called Ayampe and did fieldwork at the location of “La Riconada” where we found a decent amount of biodiversity within the intertidal zone. The weather was very humid but the occasional rainstorms were a great help with wanting to cool off. Monday our class headed out to “La Playita”, here my photo identification group found more biodiversity than the previous location and the weather was pretty perfect. As for today I have no idea where we went but we head out for another town and hotel tomorrow morning to end the coastal trip. I am looking forward to getting back into Cumbaya but also can’t believe that I only have a week left there before heading out to the islands. The weekend the marine track students get back to Cumbaya we are heading pretty much straight to Baños to end our time left here on a good note. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to my host family but we will cross that bridge when we get there. For now I am just going to enjoy the time I have left with them before it’s Galápagos time!!!!
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<p>Hello!! My name is Madison, I’m Massachusetts made and currently a junior at the University of Maine majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Spanish. I love the ocean and can sometimes be a science nerd so I am really looking forward to spending my time in the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin happened to discover evolution. I enjoy drawing, taking photos with my GoPRo, and snorkeling/diving. Follow me to stay updated on my underwater adventures!</p>