Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day 6: Sian Ka’an

Day 6, Sian Ka’an

Sian Ka’an means “where the sky is born” or “gift from the sky” in Mayan. This is definitely a fitting name for the water is as blue as the sky.

This is definitely one of my favorite days (although you will probably hear me saying that about everyday). I skipped day 5 because I pretty much spent the entire day in an Office Max trying to get copies of the field guide. On Day 6 the entire group was finally there, so we started doing some real research.

We started this day with the usual, waiting around. Things happen slowly in Mexico so it usually takes some time before things start to happen (hence spending an entire day trying to get copies made at Office Mex).

A typical "Yucatan Peninsula” fiber glass boat took us to measuring salinity in the first lake in the biosphere reserve.

After getting some measurements, our boat started heading straight toward the coast. The problem was that we weren’t slowing down. We were heading full speed, about to crash into the coast, when suddenly a canal opened up in front of us. I can say one thing about our boat guide; he definitely knew how to handle the boat and knew exactly where he was going.

We took a couple more hydrolab measurements in the second lake before heading to a Mayan ruin for lunch.

After lunch we got in the water in the canal to do some flow measurements. We wanted to know how fast the water was being transported from one lake to the other and then out to the sea.

On the way out to the ocean we stopped by a natural spring. This supplies fresh water to the lakes. You can even dive down and explore the cave (if you are doing research and if you are a cave diver).

We ended the day with a quick walk along the beach. You can’t beat the beautiful blue sky, the bright blue water, and the soft white sand.

I guess that wasn’t really the end of the day, because when we went to leave the biosphere we had our first (and pretty much our only) mishap on the trip. Somebody decided to take a swim with the keys in his pocket (caughDerekcaugh). Now, usually this wouldn’t be a big deal, but this wasn’t any normal car. It was a French car. You can’t start the car without the electronic locator in the key. If that gets wet you’re not going anywhere. After some attempts at popping the clutch we realized we were going to need a new car. Several calls were made, and a group of people headed off to dinner while the rest of us waited for another car.

During the wait Rich, Donna, and I hiked through the rain forest. It was getting dark and loud scary noises were heard. I swear there was a crocodile in there. Along the trail we came across a lookout tower. I swear I am not afraid of heights but this thing was scary. The wood looked like it was breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all of the termites in the Yucatan. I made it to the top with white knuckles from holding on to the railings for dear life.

We made it back to the van just in time to hear it start up. Drying out the electronics was the key. More phone calls were made to cancel our rescue van and we were off to Tulum for dinner.

This video is pretty long, but it will give you an idea of what the boat ride was like.


Kristen said...

Cool photographs. I'd be interested to know if you ran any actions on the second photo (of the dock leading out to the water) and also love to know the focal length, aperture, ISO, etc. What a great shot.

Sarah said...

another beautiful set of pictures!!

Kim said...

Hey Kristin, Actually I ran a boost action on most of the pictures. It is from Pioneer Women Actions (set 1). You can get them here:
On the second picture I also burned the dock a little because it was a little too bright.
As far as the Exif data goes:
Focal Length: 45mm
Exposure: 1/30 sec
F-number: F/29
ISO: 200
exposure comp: +3

Thanks for the nice comments guys. At the rate I am going I will finish the pictures for this trip in July :)