By the third day, the suspense is building. "It will happen," Knowlton barks at lunch, pounding her fists on the table. As her plate rattles, a smile spreads across her face.
Sure enough, the coral colonies start spawning around 8:20 p.m. The tiny tapioca-like sacs, about two millimeters in diameter, rise in unison, slowly drifting to the surface. For the few minutes that they are suspended in the water, I feel like I'm swimming in a snow globe.
"To me, coral spawning is like a total eclipse of the sun," Knowlton says. "You should see it once in your life."