Day 3


Today started off around 6:45. I woke up and listened to music for a little bit and got my bag packed and ready for the day. We met up at the gate entrance at 7:45 and walked down to the Internet lounge for breakfast. It was all the same food as yesterday but also large donuts. It was very delicious and everyone enjoyed it. After breakfast, Casey introduced us to Dr. Gore who was apart of the British Virgin Islands Turtle Conservation. She talked a little about herself and then gave a presentation covering the life cycle and all about sea turtles. The only sea turtles who mainly nest and swim in the BVI are green and hawksbill. After the presentation, she told us how we would successfully catch these turtles. The technique is: have someone distract the turtle so you can get its eyes focused on something while someone sneaks up behind it without being seen or heard and grab the turtle with both hands either on its sides, behind the front arms, or behind the neck on the shell and on the bottom of the shell. Sea turtles and crazy strong. They have ridiculous adaptation skills that help them be so hardy. Even when they are young, they are super strong. When she finished with the ground rules, group sea dragon and monkey split up. Sea monkey went to the touch tanks and snorkel while sea dragon and I went to try to catch a turtle. We set off on our boat around 9:30 and about 3 minutes after leaving the marina we spotted 5 small green turtles. We jumped in after we got a small briefing again and got to see them underwater but once they saw us all coming they all darted. We spent about 10 minutes looking but we were in about 40-45 feet of water so it was almost worthless anyways. From the marina we went to where we we planned on going – Mountain Point. When we got there, Tom Huber and I jumped in as the first dummies. When you look for turtles, an easy and less tiring way for looking for them is to hold on to a flotation device attached to the boat so it will drag you. Tom and I held on to the boat rings that were attached to the boat. Right as we started, it started pouring. It stirred up the water so it was a little hard to see the floor when we got to about 40 feet. The rain felt really nice though even though it was super hard rain and made the visibility a little challenging under and on top of the surface. After about 15 minutes of being pulled, I finally saw the first turtle. I let go of the ring and nudged Tom on the leg so he could track it with me while the others had time to gear up and jump in. Tom tried to distracted the turtle so I could dive, but when I tried to get close to it and grab it, it swam away. Tom and I tracked it and the other students came as well. We tried multiple times to grab it but never got it. We gave up after it surfaced and dove again. I got on the boat while new students got ready to be the dummies. After about 10 minutes we saw another one and once again we didn’t catch it after what seemed like 2 hours of exhausting tracking and diving. After the first hour, we all got in and snorkeled the reef to find more. We found about 6 turtles in the reef and no one caught one. It’s very hard to get their eyes focused on just one person while the other dives down to grab it. At 12:30 we headed back to the marina for lunch at the restaurant right on the marina. We had great burgers and played with Dixie, Casey and Jeff’s dog. When we finished, sea dragon and I road to beautiful Savannah Bay. It was the prettiest beach I have ever been to hands down. When we got there, Caitlin and Sarah were there already with a touch container ready. They had previously caught some urchins and invertebrates for us to touch and hold. We saw many different creatures with loads of color and creativity. When we finished, we let them go and snorkeled out just a little bit from the beach so we could see some more. We saw different shrimps, snails, urchins, soft and hard corals, and all sorts of different things. After about 20 minutes, we came back to the shore and got to do whatever we wanted. Almost everyone played with the frisbee and just relaxed. We were all super tired from all the tiring turtle catching. After a great afternoon, we got a taxi ride back to Guava Berry to shower and get ready for dinner. At 6:15 we met at the entrance and walked to Mad Dog’s for lasagne and salad. The lasagne was great and once again we ate ice cream and played with the frisbee. We filled in our dive logs and at 8:25 we headed back to the Internet lounge to blog.