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Masterpiece Reefs

Masterpiece Reefs

By looking at our masterpiece reefs now that we've built them you'll be able to tell that we all ''major in abstract art.'' However the process in itself required skills that some of us clearly lacked.

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The purpose of our masterpiece reefs was to create a frame in order to attach soft and hard coral to. Soft coral grows very quickly and will then cover the framework and after many years hard coral will eventually cover the frame, becoming a little coral reef.

We used very ''high-tech'' equipment which consisted of: toilet brushes, pipes, pipe connectors and wired mesh. The wired mesh acts as a  base support when cementing. The toilet brush allowed a little variety in our reefs. The cup of the toilet brush set was ideally used to create a burrow for small fish or other creatures to hide in. We could build the reef however we wanted using the equipment provided, this required us to bring out our creativity, which some of us struggled with. In order to cut and mould our reef into a masterpiece we had to use a saw. This was a challenge for some, as many of us had never picked up a saw and clearly didn't know that long movements at an angle were the key to success. For me however it was quite easy as I was brought up with helping my dad around our summer house in Sweden, For others it was clearly exhausting and taking a light doze was a priority.

Once we had all finished designing our masterpieces came the real challenge. We had to carry them all over to an area along the beach where we could mix cement and build bases. We all had a chance to mix the cement and my job was first. I had to mix the sand and cement powder together with the shovel. Next we added the water and this made the mixture a lot heavier then it actually looked and for some of my friends it brought out their true strength. Now, whether it was there or not that is the question! Once the cement was mixed, we had to put some above and below the wired gauze in order to be able to secure the frame, as well as keep it at the bottom of the ocean. Since the cement was wet, we all carved our names into our own masterpieces, however i highly doubt that in ten years time we'll be able to tell whose is whose.

We left our frameworks and the cement over night in order to let the cement dry and then they were ready attach our coral to.We sat in the shallow water in order to design our masterpieces.  This wasn't the most comfortable choice as I got sand in my swimmers.  We used cable ties to secure small pieces of hard coral to the bases of our masterpieces. We attached small fragments with soft coral growing on them to the rest of the framework and in a couple of weeks most of it will be covered in the growing soft coral.

We had a variety of soft coral to choose from, so each of our reefs will turn out to to as vibrant mini reef once fully developed. Once satisfied, we carried the frames out into a temporary nursery and on the way we were attacked by thousands of baby jellyfish, we thought they would sting us but as babies most of them are harmless. Now, our masterpieces are in the ocean and ready to develop into beautiful coral reefs which, in the future everyone can enjoy!

Linnea Borglin

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