The Beginning of Paradise


The first night was a late night because I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about the next day. I was looking forward to it so much that I just laid in bed for hours just starting at the ceiling fan going around and around. Later on however I was just so exhausted that I passed out and it seemed like just minutes later it was morning. This was a different morning because not only did I wake up around 5:00am but it was to the sound of a rooster right outside our house. We all woke up at the same time in my house and we had a granola bar to hold us off until breakfast. While waiting we talked very quietly and then we went to go walk around right outside of Our house to look at the different fruit trees. Eventually Doc came to our cabin to check that we were all up and then we got all of our scuba gear packed in our bags that were given to us. The people staying in our house are Sam, Alex, Riley, and I. We then walked to the cattle guard which is our meeting place by the entrance to the guava-berry resort. The cab driver came and picked us up and we headed off to a Olde Yard where we were greeted with the happy and energetic smiles of the staff from Dive BVI. We sat down in the room where we got to have a fantastic breakfast which consisted of muffins, eggs, bacon, sausages, salmon, potatoes, and a variety of sweet juices/ coffee. After we inhaled our breakfast Casey came up to the front of the room and told us the plan for the day and what was going to happen. After this quick introduction the other staff members introduced themselves and gave us a quick background of themselves. After this Casey began with a lecture on a variety of different things but focused on transplanting coral, for obvious reasons. We talked about different strategies and methods of transplanting the coral. Some methods consisted of using cylinder blocks (or “Breeze Blocks” I think as Laura calls them) and how concrete or epoxy glue can be used to secure them down. From what we learned using the other two were not as effective as using Zip Ties to secure the piece of coral to the base structure. Then we talked about how to find a good candidate for the coral transplant. For example if a coral shows bleaching in a contained area the healthy coral can be removed as long as you use a two centimeter buffer line for the break. Moving on with this topic we has a debate whether or not we should use gloves to hold the coral because the oils on our hands negatively effect the coral and can kill them but on the flip side what will the gloves due because the coral is sharp so it might just cut through the gloves. To follow up with that question/debate we went on to argue other topics such as global warming and a fake Jesuit island (the question was whether it should be developed or not and how will it effect the environment). Once Casey finished her very interesting and engaging presentation we went outside to pool for a short 15 minutes break. After talking for a while and passing the time we came back inside for the next part of the classroom day which was lead by Laura about fish identification and a review of some notes we read on the plane. She began with an introduction to the Caribbean and gave us some information on the lay out of the island and the history behind it. After that she talked to us about the notes we had studied and read on the plane. We talked about a variety of different fishes such as the trumpetfish, damselfish, spotted drum (which if I remember correctly was the most cute in her opinion), eels, and so on. We also talked about the formation of coral and its relationship with the fish in its environment. I found this talk to be very helpful because I was still a little confused on the different types of fish and organisms. We then took another break and came back to wrap up or final lesson before lunch about shark finning, more information on the coral. We finished up the talk and then lunch was brought to us. Lunch was a variety of sandwiches along with french fries. After lunch we got to go in the taxi to the dock where we picked up the scuba gear and then had a short orientation on the boat about safety procedures and other important things to keep in mind. We then pushed off and headed for the dive site. Once we got there we jumped in and snorkels for a while then got back in the boat, divided in half, and then got geared up. We got into the water with Caitlin and slowly descended into the water. Clear Springs was a complete joke to the color, visibility, and beauty of this dive site. Along the dive I was able to spot out several different types of fish that we reviewed with Laura such as the trumpetfish (this was MUCH bigger than what I was expecting) and many blue tangs. I brought my GoPro along with me and recorded the whole entire dive so that I won’t forget anything. I recognized many different sea fans, elk-horn corals, stag-horn corals, and so on. Towards the end of the dive we reached the famous Chimney where we had to squeeze our way through a small chimney like structure to reach the other side. The fish and coral life down there was stunning, especially the colors of the male parrotfish. We finished up the dive with some more fish recognition using the slate that Caitlin brought along. We finished the dive with a 3 minute safety stop and then got back into the boat and back to shore. Once we docked we were surprised to see that the other group has caught a lion fish and Caitlin showed us the fish and dissected it for us. We then headed back to the cabins and took showers/changed to get ready for dinner. We then met up around 6:15 to head off to Maddogs for pizza and delicious desserts. After dinner we recorded our dives in our log books and went back to the resort to wright our blogs. This was the end of a fantastic day extremely full of interesting and exciting new adventures. I can’t wait for tomorrow and all of the things that we have planned.

-Jack Kelley