Today I woke up at around 7:30, got dressed, walked to the commissary, and posted the last blog. I ran back to the cattle guard just in time to see the taxi come. I hopped on with my friends and we headed off to the marina. At the marina, there was food waiting for us to eat. We ate for about 30 minutes before getting on the boat, where there were more snacks to eat. The boat ride was really long – about 45 minutes – and made us all a little tired. We went out to Salt Island, the famous National Park site of the RMS Rhone crash site. The Rhone was the biggest ship in its fleet, and was a steamship. The Rhone went out on a stormy day, lost its anchor because it got caught on a reef head, and was caught directly in the eye of a hurricane. It was spun around, and steamed forward into a rock face called Black Rock Point. The point cut a hole in the stern of the ship. As the ship tilted back into the water, the boiler engine exploded, due to the cold water seeping in, which scattered all the pieces of the Rhone in 30-80 ft waters. We were quizzed on some of this info, and I got a hat for a prize! The dive was called a wreck dive, and it consisted of swimming through the hull of the ship, up and around it’s bow and stern, and going under the 15ft wide propeller. This was the coolest part, because the propeller was stuck on a rocky cliff, which made a cave-like structure that we swam through. There were several species of animals that we saw – Moray Eel, Turtle, Sponge, Jawfish, Snappers, Squirrelfish, etc. there was a strong current, so it was hard to stay in one place and look at all the wreckage. It also made swimming difficult, as we were swimming against the current nearly the entire time, and we kept colliding with those close to us, since metal tanks are magnetic in salt water. But it was still an incredible dive. After the Rhone, we got aboard the boat to Cooper Island, which is where we ate, and took a tour of the facilities.
We had fish and chips for lunch, which was delicious, and then Sean, Alex, Andrew and I walked down the beach. On the walk, we found a large tree of coconuts that was cut down, and all the ripe coconuts strewn across the sand. All of us grabbed one and started to open them on sharp rocks. The only one who was successful was Andrew, and another kid who found one earlier. After leaving the coconuts behind, we walked to the boardwalk, and went into a gate that said “Private. Employees Only.” we were greeted by a man named Andy who gave us a brief presentation on recycling and renewable energy used on the island. Cooper Island resort uses solar panels to boil water, to generate electricity, and gutters to collect rainfall for the hotel. Andy walked us up an old concrete path that looked over the tops of buildings, and showed us the array of solar panels, 90 on one roof, that powered the facilities of Cooper Island Resort. He also showed us the pit in the ground where the Bio-Reactor would go behind the resort. The bio-reactor separates sewage from water into clean, drinkable water that they’d use to irrigate the plants they use for the restaurant. Andy walked us out, and waved goodbye as we left to go snorkeling in the bay right off of Cooper Island. Sean, Alex, and I went snorkeling for an hour almost, and saw fire coral, turtles, a box-fish, and by our boat…. 7 barracuda. 7. That is a lot of barracuda. And they were all at least 3 ft long at least. It was pretty intimidating, to say the least. After snorkeling, we took the long, 45 minute journey back to the marina, where we all helped in putting away heavy tanks of air for the next day’s dive session. On the way over, the water was really patchy and rough, so the divers of Sea Monkey stood on the upper deck, and held on as we made several jumps over huge waves. When we got to Guavaberry, we showered, got dressed, and headed to the cattle guard, where we waited for the teachers to come down to take us to Mad Dog’s. At Mad Dog’s we had lasagna and bread for dinner, and then went to Cornhole, a game where you grow bags onto a board from a certain distance, and try to land it in the hole, and it’s scored differently based on blah blah blah. The point is, I have had an innate gift for this game, and I won. And the consequence for winning a game of Cornhole is a free of charge, delicious Brownie Sunday. Did I mention it was free? Because when you purchase it, it’s 5 bucks. So I tasted victory (puns, puns everywhere). Then Casey gave us a presentation on coral transplantation,mans what we’ll be doing tomorrow. Then we walked home, and wrote our blogs, like we do every night. I think I’ll make a movie of all the pictures I have but haven’t put on the blog, just so I can share these with everyone.