After waking up at 7:15 and showering, Glenson again shuttle us, this time to the marina for breakfast. Shout out to Casey and Jeff who again graciously set up a breakfast of cereal, yogurt, and fruit and allowed us to use their office for breakfast. After devouring our breakfast we prepared for the day by applying sunscreen and setting up our dive gear. We then headed for “Wreck Ally” near Cooper Island, a dive site named for its several sunken ships. At a depth of about 80 feet we examined two boats that were both intentionally sunken to create artificial reefs, the Beata and the Island Seal. Casey lead us around the ships, identifying corals and fish as we passed them.
Image 1: A common sight, Casey pointing out different organisms underwater that we would probably be oblivious to (finger coral that had some of its polyps in and others out)
A little later during the dive, after Casey found a lionfish, Jeff 2.0 (the newer Jeff) came along and skewered it.
Image 2: Dead Lionfish
Image 3: Wreck
After returning to the boat, we snacked and prepared for our next dive. We moved over to Chronis Reef and as we hovered above our next dive site Laura and Casey prepped us on our objective. The object of this dive was to survey the live coral coverage. Each buddy team received a ruler, a clipboard, and a roll of weighted line. Extending the line 20 meters in a random direction away from the boat, we went along the line, measuring in centimeters the live/bleached/dead hard coral directly beneath the transect line. With Buck Lyon as my partner, we recorded the data on the clipboard for future reference, returned the equipment to the boat, and then were allowed to recreationally dive for about 20 minutes. Both dives were great today, we got to dive an awesome wreck and help survey the coral at Chromis Reef. Then heading to Cooper Island Beach Club, we waited near the pier until we were able to dock. Finally on the at the Club, we devoured fish and chips that tasted as amazing as I remembered them from last year’s trip. Next we headed back to the marina. Our ride back was extremely enjoyable as we rode the high waves that Jeff 2.0 told us weren’t all that big. Once back at the marina, we went into Casey’s office were she talked to us about our MB2 project: creating and sinking an artificial reef near the Jesuit Reef in Long Bay. We discussed the planning and decided that each MB2 student would be able to make a piece of the reef which we will sink tomorrow. Going back to the marina, we began designing our artificial reef, arranging cinderblocks and planning how many zip ties would be needed to hold the pieces together. Before mixing the cement to fill the cinderblocks we cut dowel rods to stick in the cement. These dowel rods will be what we attach the coral pieces to tomorrow during the coral replant in conjunction with MB1. Buck and I decided to build one big structure together, one that would surpass others in both intricacy, stability, and coral growth. Big thanks to Casey who helped us figure out how to connect our reef structure. We finished up, went back and got cleaned up, and headed to our last dinner at Mad Dog’s. For dinner we had quesadillas and nachos that Inge, our host, graciously delivered to our tables. After dinner we just relaxed and played ring toss. Best day yet in the BVI! Loved every minute of it!