March 5, 2012
© Kip F. Evans – Mission Blue
We awoke eager to go diving but were delayed as the dive boat was held up helping our companion ship, the Sea Hunter, to launch their DeepSee submersible. Biff Bermingham, Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute here in Panama, showed Sylvia a map of the current Isla Coiba marine park, highlighting which areas are protected, as well as where fishing is still allowed. Local people hope to get support to protect more of the ocean in the surrounding area.
Finally around noon, I took my first dive at Coiba off “Desert island” with Sylvia Earle, Kip Evans, David Shaw, Shari Sant Plummer and Beverley. When I first got into the water, I saw a large silver plate-shaped permit swim away followed by other big fish with jack like shapes, and long tail fins with rainbow colors.…