Day 2 in the BVI


Great second day in the BVI. Woke up this morning at about 7:30 to a great view from my Guavaberry Hotel house. We all gathered at the base of the resort and played frisbee while waiting for out taxi. Our amicable driver Glen came around 8:30 and we headed over to our classroom, an air conditioned room which is always nice. We then had a breakfast buffet much like yesterday’s which was delicious. We then started today’s lesson. Casey taught us breathing techniques to lengthen our free dives when snorkeling. We were taught to start breathing from the belly then proceed to inhale from the chest followed by a long exhale. Then Casey showed us how when your face is immersed in cold water, your heart rate slows down. A few volunteers dipped their heads in an ice cold bucket while the rest waited to try it in the pool. Casey’s tips really helped lengthen everyone’s ability to hold their breath. After this, Joel Dore from the Conservation and Fisheries Department came over from the island of Tortola to teach us about turtle tagging. Never have I met someone who knew so much about turtles, his lecture was fascinating. To catch a turtle, one must approach from behind and grab the shell behind its neck with a firm grip while proceeding to grab the bottom of its shell. After this, you bring the turtle out of the water and hold it for the boat to pick up. The process of tagging a turtle is as follows: first you must scan the turtle to make sure it hasn’t already been tagged, then you make six measurements (the head width, flipper length, shell width, shell length, plastron, and tail length), then with a special pair of pliers you clip on a tag to its flipper on the armpit, and lastly is an injection to implant a microscopic tracker. After our lesson, we went out for some hands on tagging in Little Dix’s Bay. All students would snorkel around searching for a prized turtle. When one would be spotted, we were instructed to hold up a hand but keep an eye on the turtle so it wouldn’t swim away. Though two turtles were spotted, we brought in one for tagging. Thankfully it had not been tagged before and Joel could demonstrate the process of tagging. It was a successful tag and because the turtle was juvenile, we gave it the unisex name of Squirtle. Before our departure from the bay, a four foot Barracuda was spotted directly under the boat. We then went to lunch right by the dock for burgers and wraps. It hit the spot after a long snorkel. After lunch we walked from the hotel to the famous BVI Baths. It was a blast walking through the massive boulders created by volcanoes 50 million years ago. These rocks have been used hundreds of years ago by slave traders to clean the slaves for selling at St. Thomas. When we reached the end we proceeded to snorkel our way back to the hotel. The hour and a half long snorkel was beautiful as we saw numerous coral ranging from Brain coral, elkhorn, and staghorn coral. The other marine life we saw seemed infinite as we saw parrotfish, squid, sea turtle, and the always lovely jellyfish. The night wrapped up with a boat ride back to the dock and a Mexican dinner at Mad Dog’s followed by the tasty Brownie Sundaes. Can’t wait for tomorrow.