Kind of getting used to waking up to the deep voice of Mr. Kirby and his cup of coffee. Soon enough, however, we found ourselves having breakfast and getting ready to head out to sea.
After a quick brief from Casey, my dive buddy Buck and I did our buddy checks and we took the dive into a site called Wreck Ally. This site was an artificial reef made from four sunken boats. After a dive lasting around 45 minutes, we ascended to the the boat and took apart our gear for another quick dive Bout 200 yards away.
Unfortunately I could not participate in this dive because my ears weren’t quite on the same page with the whole pressure of the ocean but I had a nice little snorkel with Dr. Gruninger.
After about an hour, we packed up our stuff and headed for the one fish meal I will have, Coopers’ Island Fish and Chips. Seriously, greatest Fish and Chips on this planet.
Soon after blessing our taste buds, we took off to go and build our artificial reefs. By connecting a few cement blocks together, the 13 Marine Biology 2 students and two of our dive instructors, Casey and Laura, crafted our own little artificial reefs.
With two types of cement blocks available, we were able to customize and build our very own and very unique style of artificial reefs. As soon as we had designed and finalized our plans, we began to mix cement to fill up some of the spaces in the blocks. Before we let the cement dry we took dowel rods, approx. 6 inches in length, placed them halfway in the cement. This will allow the students in Marine Biology 1, with guidance from us, to attach staghorn and elkhorn corals to the blocks. Hopefully over time the corals will grow around the blocks and form into huge coral reefs.
After the completion of filling our blocks with cement, we cleaned up, headed to the cabins, took showers, and went to our last ever dinner at Maddogs. While saddened at the thought of not seeing Inga or the place where we spent almost every night, the mood was not sad. Rather, we were proud and thankful for the nights, the memories, the bag toss and ring toss, the games of football and the nights spent talking, and most importantly the graciousness of Inga and her staff.
A huge thank you to Inga for everything, you and Maddogs will forever be a highlight of my time spent here.
Picture One: Last dinner at Maddogs
Picture Two: Buck recording live coral coverage