Day 5 and 6
Great last two days in the BVI. Yesterday, the day started with an early morning rise as usual. We had breakfast at the Marina in Casey’s office which consisted of bagels, cereal, and fruit. After that, we headed toward the boats and assembled our gear. We also loaded the cinder blocks onto the boat which would later turn into artificial reefs. Then we drove out to Long Bay and proceeded to assemble the reef. We lowered the blocks individually using rope onto the ocean floor which sat at about 25 ft. Once they were on the bottom, we all hopped in our SCUBA gear and got in the water. In buddy teams, we picked up the blocks and moved them to designated planting areas. The blocks were extremely heavy so we had to use underwater lift bags to carry them. These were pretty much balloons that you filled with air to easily carry the blocks. After planting the blocks we then ascended to the boat and had some lunch. This consisted of sandwiches and chips. After lunch, each buddy team paired up with a guy from Marine 1 to do their coral transplanting. We were given a clip board to record data while the Marine 1 guys were to measure the coral they plant as well as attach the coral to the dowel rods. This process was relatively simple, the only rough patch was keeping our buoyancy right so that we wouldn’t damage any coral. After this was done we headed back to the marina then to Guavaberry to prepare for mass at 5. We all wore a polo and khaki shorts. The church sat atop a hill and had a wonderful view. Mass was nice and so was the priest. After mass we headed back to Guavaberry to change into our swimsuits for the cook out we had with the Dive BVI crew. The burgers and hot dogs that Jeff cooked were delicious. After some football and frisbee we embarked on our night snorkel. The water was abut cold but it was a fun dive that had many cool marine organisms: squid, octopus, and lobster. After that we headed upto our cottages and went to sleep.
Unfortunately that brings us to our last day in the BVI. We woke up at the same time at 7 and got ready for the day. Glen took us to the marina where we prepared for our lionfish hunt. Jeff, Jeff 2, Fernando, and AJ took us to Mountain Point where we searched for lionfish, an invasive species that is extremely harmful to the Caribbean as it has no natural predators. They are very pretty fish but are far detrimental rather than beneficial. The dive itself was my favorite this trip. We saw tons of cool marine organisms: sting ray, 2 Hawksbill turtles, a massive angelfish, and a massive lobster. Additionally, we killed four lionfish with a spear gun which was awesome. Buck and Alex both got to shoot one and we celebrated when we killed the horrid animals. After this adventure we headed back to the marina where we were educated on the background of the lionfish. Originally from the Indo-Pacific, the invasive species came over to the Caribbean and has killed of a huge chunk of the fish population. After that we had some lunch at the marina which consisted of wraps. They hit the spot. We then headed to Guavaberry for some lounging and beach time. Currently I am writing my blog which will be followed by some beach football. The plan is to shower and pack followed by a fancy dinner at Mermaid’s. There we will have our last meal with the Dive BVI crew followed by a slide show of pictures taken throughout the week. Then we head to bed for an early 4AM rise to catch our flight. This week was amazing and I believe better than last year’s. It is very sad that we want see the Dive BVI crew, Virgin Gorda, and the BVI for a while. I leaned a lot and had a ton of fun.