Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reef 3

Okay, another reef post, but this time, not our home reef! We took a day trip this weekend to Porto de Galinhas (Port of Chickens, named for the crates of chickens that were used to disguise slave ships coming from Africa. Cute name, right?). It has a really great restoration/protection program, which I really enjoyed. There are sectioned areas that you're not allowed to walk on or swim near (we accidentally snorkeled through one, it had some amazing fish and coral), and visitors are only allowed on the reef for 30 minute incriments. It's a really touristy place, so all these rules are there for good reason. They also make you watch an informative video and they have what they're calling an 'eco blitz' (okay, I forget the first word, but it was probably in portuguese anyway. Something like a nature blitz?) and they were giving away a free seed from a native tree for people to plant. I grabbed the wrong thing. But the thing I grabbed was a pamphlet printed on biodegradable paper. So what I'm trying to say is that Brazil does a lot of things really oddly (littering is common because people believe they're creating jobs), but this is one thing they're doing right.

As far as the reef goes, it's got pretty much the same stuff as ours. I believe our will be completely barren in a few years if they don't do something to protect it. We saw more fish, but I think that's partially because the water is much clearer. It was a rainy day, so visibility still wasn't as good as it could be. There are little tidal pools where you can feed the fish (the rule makers specifically say not to do that, but they sell food at the shore).

One more thing, in my Brazil guide book this is one of the hot spots, so I read before we went. They said you can get a 'local fisherman' to take you to the tidal pools by boat for a mere $15. We walked on to the beach and the kid 'helping' us said, yeah, take the boat. We asked him where the pools were. He said, right there. Literally about 40 feet away. the boat ride would have been maybe 2 minutes. With probably 1.5 minutes of loading and unloading. We risked it and snorkeled there. Which turned out to be great because we saw the best stuff on our snorkel out. All 40 feet of it.

Boats in the background? They dropping off. Boats in foreground and picking up passengers.
The fish were actually really vibrant. Almost all of them. The picture doesn't do this guy justice!
Feeding the fish. Against the rules. But in Brazil, what are rules anyway?
I was super proud of getting this half-in-water/half-out-of-water picture. Skills!
The next few pictures were all in the rain.

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