Islands and the Wide Open Ocean


Long day of travel yesterday but I enjoyed the company of my classmates. Despite the long day of travel, I had a hard time falling asleep due to the anticipation of today’s activities and the wildlife welcoming us (not so) graciously. Sleeping here is different than back home, mainly the sun rising at 5:30 and the rooster outside our window at 5:30. When we got up, we packed our swimsuit and scuba gear and headed to breakfast as a class. There, we officially met our instructors at BVI. After we ate breakfast, we spent the morning in Old Yard Village learning about the geography and marine life of the islands. We learned about the various types of coral, specifically elkhorn and staghorn, and many types of fish at BVI including the blue tang, the trumpetfish, the angelfish, snapper, trunkfish, and many more. We took a taxi ride to the marina and boarded on our boat called the Sea Monkey, where we then lathered up in sun screen and where most of us prepared for our first ocean dive. The boat ride did not take long and was quite enjoyable, and when we arrived to our destination I was excited to hop in the water. I could see the bottom of the ocean from our boat and a few of us jumped in to test the water. It was very, very salty and unpleasant in the eyes but I was nonetheless ready to gear up. Soon, my gear was all on and I was ready to take the big step forward. The first step off the boat was incredible and I can vividly remember the first time I opened my eyes and saw the ocean. It was much, much, much more clear than the lake and I had already seen at least 10 different fish within the first 5 seconds of opening my eyes. My dive buddy was Brendan Legas (throughout the dive we constantly ran into each other because we were tranced in the wildlife) and we had been waiting for this trip for a long time. We saw all of the different types of fish we discussed in class, plus some extra (sea urchin, lobster) and the floor was covered by elkhorn, staghorn, fan coral, and the occasional fire coral. Once we finished our dive, we got back on the boat. However, while getting onto the boat, one of our instructors found a lionfish and accurately spear gunned it. We got back to the marina, dissected the lionfish (they have huge spines!) and went back to our rooms to shower for dinner. We all went to the famous Mad Dogs and enjoyed a dinner and then signed our logbooks. By the end of the day, we were all tired but excited for the next day. The people here at BVI are very nice and easy to talk to, and always give a friendly tap on the horn when they pass by. The island is beautiful with mountains and surrounded by the sea, and I cannot wait for tomorrow’s activities