Today, we were all happy to snag an extra hour of shut eye, especially knowing we had a big night dive ahead. After breakfast, we enjoyed another great lecture at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) about the different kinds of fish living around the island's reef. It paired nicely with our previous chat about coral, giving us a better picture of how diverse the reef ecosystem really is. Knowing the reef's health is on the decline, with corals dying off and species losing their homes and food sources, it is clear that having lots of different reef inhabitants is critically important to keeping the whole system afloat and preventing total failure. Following this lecture, we had our regular 9:00 AM morning dive where we found shrimp, brittle stars, and other interesting critters.

After our dive and lunch, we had a few extra hours to relax. I spent mine browsing the internet and catching up on shows, but others hit the pool or went snorkeling at the shore dive spot on the back of the key. At 5:00 PM, we all gathered back at RIMS for a special talk by Mickey Charteris, the author of "Caribbean Reef Life – A Field Guide for Divers." He shared how he wrote the book and some cool stories from his time out in the field taking photos, including tips for where and how to find particular creatures. It got us pumped for our night dive.

Our night dive was at "Mike's Place," and for most, it was their first time diving at night. It took a bit to spot anything, but soon we were seeing all kinds of creatures like lobsters, tangs, parrotfish, and crabs. As we kept diving, things got even more lively. We came across plenty of king crabs, a flounder nestled in the sand, and even a couple of octopuses. When we got close to our boat, we turned off all the lights and got treated to a cool light show from bioluminescent critters in the water around us. After making sure we didn't run into any sea wasps near the boat, we headed back to the resort. Even though it wasn't my first night dive, it was definitely my favorite, and I won't forget it anytime soon.

Professors Stephen Kielar and Ariel Setniker contributed to this blog entry.

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Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus offers undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.