Arriving on Beef Island after 3 plane rides we were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. McNutt with hugs and hellos. After a short boat ride over to Virgin Gorda, we were next greeted by Glenn, our taxi driver from last year who will again be driving us around the island. A relaxing night drive later we arrived at Guavaberry. In a cabin with veterans Jeff Melsheimer, Guy Harris, Tucker Reed we are definitely going to gang up on newbie MB1 diver Nick Byrne. After being sorted into our cabins by the always helpful Casey we found food and personalized Dive BVI/Jesuit backpacks and water bottles. We feasted on a hearty meal of gatorade, a Nutrigrain bar, and piping hot EasyMac as lights-out approached.
Waking up at a mind-numbingly early 7 AM, we showered and took a shuttle to Old Yarde Village for breakfast and orientation. Munching on sausage, fruit, and muffins, we prepared for our first day in the BVI. We broke for about 15 minutes and then came back together for introductions. New to the Dive BVI/Jesuit trip staff are Jeff, Pablo, Fernando, and Caitlyn while Casey, Jeff (McNutt), and Laura were on the trip last year. We met the staff and then introduced ourselves, all excited for the week ahead. All of a sudden Casey said that she had a surprise for the MB2 students. However, no one expected that this surprise would yield extremely nice DC1400 underwater cameras, testaments to Casey’s and Jeff’s love and dedication to both us Jesuit students and diving. With an encyclopedic knowledge of the BVI, Laura gave a presentation on fish identification and ecosystems. Having finished lunch which consisted of sandwiches and french fries, we headed out to the marina, shuttled by Boyz II Men fan Glenn. We headed out to Little Trunk Bay for a short dive to review our skills. Although we were on the inferior boat Sea Monkey, the elite dive squad from last year consisting of Casey, Jeff Melsheimer, Christian Koeijimans, Guy Harris, and myself were reunited, adding Tucker Reed, Buck Lyon, and Chris Wengierski whose lesser diving abilities were apparent. After cruising around underwater and checking up on skills including flooding our face masks and recovering our regulators, we retreated to the boat and returned to the marina. Dinner at Mad Dawgz was pizza and afterwards Casey and Jeff aided us in setting up our new cameras. A great trip and the week has only just begun!