Panama, Day 3

Our third day in the Republic of Panama started with a bit of a setback, as, due to strong currents that morning, we were unable to dive the 18th century Spanish tall ship wreck that we’d planned on. However, we still had a good reef and drift dive in the current, and I started to shoot with the Sony HC3 video camera and housing that had been donated to the internship by Gates Underwater Housing. It’s quite the learning experience to be swimming up a strong current with a large box, no matter how neutrally buoyant it may be, and I wasn’t surprised to find I was one of the first divers to hit the 500psi mark at the end of that dive. The afternoon found us in a spur-and-groove reef formation, where one of the group managed to discover a rare marine arthropod called a sea spider (no word as to whether or not they have sea webs.) The best part of the day came afterward, when we stopped to snorkel in a shallow bay and discovered a pristine beach that housed three distinct mircoecosystems–a rocky tidal area, a sea-grass bed, and numerous miniature reef outcroppings. in less than two feet of water, we managed to find a scorpion fish, two stingrays, a porcupine fish, juvenile parrotfish, a school of guppies, and countless wrasse, brittle stars, and sea urchins.