Yesterday was one of the heaviest days we’ve had this week (literally and metaphorically). We started the day with a light breakfast and a talk at the marina followed by the heavy lifting of cinder blocks, for our reefs, onto the boat. After loading the blocks we took off for the Jesuit reef at Long Bay. Our first dive was purposed for the distribution and basing of our individually made artificial reefs. To do this we used lift bags. Lift bags are under water bags that you fill with air from your tank to float and carry heavy objects. These bags were used to carry the cement filled cinder blocks from under the boat to our spots on the reef. After this dive we ate some snacks and then took off again with some zip ties and coral samples. We went to our individual bases and zipped the coral pieces to the dowel on our blocks. This was all very difficult but it turned out successful. After sandwiches on the boat we tanned on the bow and rode to the marina. From there we had to get home to get some rest before church. I took an hour power nap on the deck, took a shower and got all ready for church service at 5 30. This day was one of the more scientific days. Our reefs were fairly productive last year and turned over almost 20% growth. After the coral devastation in 2000/2005 any growth is helpful and beneficial. After a nice service at the top of a mountain we headed to the beach for our beach barbecue. Jeff made some delicious burgers and we buried Matt in the sand. After the sun went down we got our snorkel gear together for a scary night dive. The dive was one of the coolest we’ve done. The coolest part was the bioluminescence in the water and the massive tarpin we saw. That night we also saw a ray, a squid, a nocturnal rock looking lobster and hundreds of feeding urchins. By the time we were done it was 930 and we had to go to bed without writing a blog. Today was an easier day starting with breakfast at the commissary. Then, we went to the marina and the boat for a lion fish hunt. The first dive site we went to was so choppy. For a minute I thought the boat was going to capsize and I was going to puke. So, we decided to move to mountain point. Here we shot 10 total lion fish and saw two sea turtles and an eagle ray. We de- spined The fish and had the restaurant near the marina cook them up. The reason we are spearing these lion fish is because they are a harmful invasive species that can, as a population in the Caribbean, eat over 460,000 fish a year devastating the Caribbean reefs. Now we are back at guava berry for some down time and to finish any business before leaving for Dallas tomorrow.
A special thanks to Casey, Jeff, Caitlyn, Jeff, Laura, AJ, Fernando, and Pablo and all of the Dive BVI staff for an amazing week and a lifetime of memories!! We love you!