My cabin woke up a little late today and we scrambled to get ready only to be the first cabin down for breakfast. Casey again so kindly had everything already prepared for us when we came down to eat. Dr. Gore made another presentation to us during our meal on sea turtles. She reintroduced to us the defining features of each type of sea turtle and showed us maps of where the turtles nested and migrated. Fun fact: there are 7 species of sea turtles. She also showed us how to correctly capture and hold a sea turtle, preparing us for the day ahead. After breakfast, we headed to the Sea Dragon which would take us to St. Thomas Bay for sea turtle catching. The method we used this year was slightly different from the method we used last year. Last year, we snorkeled around with just flippers and a mask. This year, however, we were towed behind the Sea Dragon four at a time with our snorkels up and our faces down in the water. This method was called manta towing. The boat wasn’t moving too fast, but to the snorkelers in the water, it felt like we were flying. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any turtles and we headed over to another sight for more searching. On our way to the next site, most of the guys sat up on the top of the boat. When we looked out at the water, we could see a white sheet… That white sheet was a giant rain storm pouring down onto the ocean. We were about to drive into it and Jeff, our captain, said, “We have about one minute until it starts pouring.” He wasn’t kidding. One minute later, all of us on the top of the boat were pelted with rain. We didn’t have shirts on so it felt like hundreds of needles were piercing our skin. We had competitions to see who could withstand the pain the longest. The rain was still pelting us when we arrived at our site but we continued to snorkel and search for the turtles. Once again, we got nothing. We ended up snorkeling for a good thirty minutes and then headed back onto the boat. We drove back to the docks and got off for cheeseburgers and fries for lunch. That gave us just the right amount of energy for the rest of the day. We had about 45 minutes until we has to get on the boat again so we all relaxed a little, played some frisbee, and checked out the dive shop. That 45 minutes went by quickly and we boarded the Sea Dragon once again for our dive. This dive was a sentimental one. We took the Sea Dragon to Jesuit Reef, the reef we started planting last year on our marine biology one trip. My dive buddy Gavin and I descended down and went around looking for the tags that we planted on the fragmented coral last year. We found 4 tags; however, one of the coral fragments we found was completely dead. Casey let us do our own thing on this dive so it was essentially just me and Gavin. We kept searching but as we kept going we stopped seeing other divers. Gavin wrote on our clipboard, “Are we in the reef?” I had no clue. We looked around and we saw a 3-4 foot barracuda staring at our faces. We looked at each other and decided to ascend. We reached the surface and we saw Tucker and Guy about 60 yards away. “What are y’all doing?!” Guy said. “We got lost!” We swam on the surface back to the group and the four of us continued diving for another 30 minutes or so. We had to scout the area for potential sites to lay down our artificial reef. After we finished, we ascended and reentered the boat. That dive concluded our day and we headed back to our cabins for showers. Tonight, we had a lasagna feast at Mad Dog’s. I’m extremely tired from our day on the water and I need some good rest for our two tank dive tomorrow morning.