Interesting last few days in the BVI. On tuesday we woke up with an early 7:45 rise to start our last day. We then headed upto our teachers’ cabin where we had a light breakfast. It was the first time we were instructed not to bring our diving gear out with us. And instead of Glen giving us a ride to our morning location, we walked to the school where we would spend the morning. Last week’s trip painted a series of panels that sat outside a soccer field next to a school. They were painted white as a background for an artist to come and paint murals on. In front of these walls are four large plant boxes where we did the majority of our painting. They would be blue, white, yellow, and green. My team consisting of Chris, joe, Christian, and buck were in charge of the blue box. Each group did two or three coats of paint. After we let those dry, we set out to touch up the already present murals. Joe was perfect in re-painting the MLK murals which read “free at last”. Luke Curran was in charge of painting our own mural which had a dive flag covered in a Jesuit cross. He actually created the design himself. It felt really good to reach out and help the community of Virgin Gorda. However, it did start raining at about 10:30 which put an end to our service. We had to wash off the brushes while getting soaking wet, but it ended up being alright. After that we headed back to the hotel where Glen picked us up. From there, he took us to the Olde Yard Inn for lunch. Ham and turkey sandwiches hit the spot after a morning’s hard work. After lunch we had our final exam. While most finals usually are an hour and a half of filling out a scantron and writing a few essays, this exam was an oral presentation of two questions that required you speaking with your dive buddy for 3 minutes. Since I paid adequate attention during the week, I believe Christian and I did pretty well on our topics of invasive species and jellyfish stings. The other groups seemed to have gotten good grades too. After our test, we headed back to the hotel for an hour of chill time. Most headed down to the commissary for some Internet surfing and blogging. At about three we all headed down to the beach for some frisbee, swimming, and all around fun in the sun. The beach at Guavaberry is so beautiful. White sand wiggles its way through your toes, massive boulders from the famous Baths surround you on the left and right, and the clear light blue ocean lies ahead full of boats, marine life, and mountains of island in the distance. It was hard to believe it was our last day in the beautiful BVI. It was without a doubt one of my most favorite weeks ever.After our beach time, we headed back upto our rooms to clean up for our banquet tonight. The food was delicious and the videos presented by Casey and Laura we’re fantastic. Everyone then stood up and told the group their favorite part. Favorites ranged from the chimney and the Rhone, to coral replanting and turtle tagging. My favorite had to be swimming through the different decks of the wrecked Rhone. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and packed up our bags. The night ended early as we all sought a decent night’s sleep for the 4:30 AM rise. Well after that six hour sleep, Doc came by to wake us up bright and early as promised. We were picked up by Glen and driven to the dock where Sea Lion, captained by Casey and Jeff, waited to take us to Tortola where the airport was. After check-in and security, we boarded the propeller plane and headed to Puerto Rico. Customs in the US territory took a little bit, but we ended up getting to our gate at 8:00-8:30. We all scattered for breakfast, but joe, buck, and I all went to the lovely Margaritaville for a $64 breakfast. Nonetheless, we headed back to the gate until our 11:25 boarding time. Well, 11:40 came around and we started to get anxious. To our dismay, our four hour layover turned into and eight hour layover ad the flight was delayed until three. However, as we all looked online, the flight was further delayed until 9. Yes, 9 PM, a total of 13 hours of sitting in the airport. 13 hours. After some naps on the airport floor, church’s chicken, and iPad games we finally boarded at 9:10. We got in to Dallas at 1:45 and or trip came to an end.
I loved scuba diving, snorkeling, playing on the beach, chilling at Mad Dog’s, and so much more. I would like to thank the Dive BVI staff from the bottom of my heart for making this week so fun, safe, entertaining, and educational. Casey, Jeff, Brian, and Laura were some of the nicest people I have ever met. I found it astonishing that they could’ve been so friendly and helpful to a group of 16-18 year olds. Without them, none of this would’ve been possible, and this unforgettable experience would’ve never happened. I am so grateful that I got to spend a week with them, and I hope to spend at least one more next year. Rumors of a marine biology 2 lurk around the students, and I hope they become true.
I would also like to thank Doc and Kirby for teaching us the whole time and putting up with us for three weeks. It was a great learning experience thanks to them and they also made it a blast.