This morning I woke up with no chickens outside my window, surprisingly, and took a shower. I then went and uploaded my last blog, which I will probably do tomorrow morning as well. I put my iPad back in my room, and headed down to the cattle guard, and played frisbee with everyone for a few minutes. The taxi came and took us to the Olde Yard where we learned about different species of fish, and how to identify them while snorkeling. There were several sections like crustaceans, worms, sponges, mollusks, Cephalopods, funny-looking fish, etc. We took the pickup truck taxi down to Savannah Bay:
– where we snorkeled for 30 minutes, ate sandwiches and apples on the beach (while looking at paradise) and then went back to snorkeling with Sean, Alex, and Andrew. We saw tons of fish including large snappers, worms, urchins, damselfish, tang, etc. After snorkeling, we played frisbee for a good 40 minutes, full-contact, with nearly no injuries. After full contact frisbee, we washed off our gear, packed up, and took a taxi down to the marina, where we got on respective boats (Sea Dragon, Sea Monkey). We went down to The Great Dog Island:
– where we dove an underwater structure called “The Chimney”. The chimney was made up of a large reef area that narrowed down into a canyon (that went for a couple hundred feet) and then narrowed even further into a single-file path that led up into an upward chute that was the chimney part. As we got closer to the canyon, there seemed to be more life accumulating – sea fans, sea whips, feather duster worms, trumpet fish, blue chromis, blue tangs, and more were starting to get closer as the walls narrowed. We went single-file behind Jeff, who showed us all the different species we had studied earlier in the day. He then led us up and out the chimney where we saw a large sea turtle swim by. Sean got stung 3 times on the hand by Fire Coral, which left mosquito bite-size welts on his hand. Then we swam through open waters looking at various fish and lobster, where I also learned to float upside down, looking at the surface and the sea floor (which made everything feel surreal, since all the blood rushed to my head, and it was harder to breathe upside down). After we surfaced, we took off our gear, and put our clothes on, and was also the time when I realized I had a wicked sunburn all along my shoulders and back, where I thought I had put tons of sunscreen. Our boat took us back to the marina, to the taxi, and back to our cabins, where we took a shower, got changed, walked down to the cattle guard, and took a taxi up to a hill in the middle of Virgin Gorda where we went to church. The view from the top of the hill was awesome:
After mass we took our taxi back to Guavaberry, changed out of our nice clothes and put on our bathing suits. We walked from our cabins down to the Guavaberry beach, where we ate and played frisbee until it got dark. Casey then handed out flashlights, and wetsuits, and we put our snorkeling gear on. The suits were incredibly tight, I had one that was a little too small, so it was hard to breathe at points, and it was scraping my sunburn. But once we started swimming, the suits loosened up, and my sunburn didn’t feel so bad. During the night snorkel, Sean, Alex, and I swam around for about 15 minutes before I broke off to swim with Casey and the large group. During the swim with the group, I saw several 2 ft lobster, hundreds of shrimp and needlefish, large jellyfish, several groupers, a 4 ft long tarpin, a sting ray, some mollusks, and …. Drumroll…. An octopus! It was pretty small, but it was moving quickly, while changing patterns, textures, and colors. It went from bright blue, to a pinkish-red, to a turquoise. It was pretty cool. I saw a golden eel on my earlier snorkel, so the only thing I need to see now is a shark, and a moray eel. After the night snorkel, we washed our gear off, cleaned up, walked to our cabins, and wrote our blogs. Tomorrow we dive the Rhone!
Just a good view: