by Gabi Goodrich, RJD Intern
My alarm sounded promptly at 5 am. Coffee deprived and still half asleep, I got in the car with Meg and made my way to Islamorada. As I began waking up, my sleepiness was replaced with excitement; I was going to shark tag today. It was my first day as an RJD intern and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had done this before, or something similar to it, in the Gulf.
Before I knew it, we pulled up to the house. Meg and I walked around to find everyone setting up on the boat. The boat itself was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. When I shark tagged in the Gulf, we went out on a single engine old research boat. This boat was bigger with a full cabin. Suddenly, I was greeted by a smiling Virginia. Before I had a chance to meet anyone else, I was loading the equipment we would use to catch the sharks on the boat. One after another, we hauled ten floats tied with long line to weights on the boat, then we loaded the research equipment itself. It was finally sinking in that this wasn’t going to be like what I had done before. Eventually everything was loaded on the boat and I finally got a chance to meet the rest of the crew. I was happy to find out that I was not the only new person on the boat. Most of us would be learning the ropes