BVI days 4-5: Night and Day


The day began with a hearty breakfast of cereal and granola bars, after which we loaded up the boat and headed out to Jesuit Reef for our day of coral planting. First we had to scout out some areas of coral to fragment and replant in our reef. We looked for bleached coral, preferably separated from the rest of the organism, so that we could preserve the existing reef. After the snorkel, we suited up and jumped in to return and collect the pieces we found on the previous snorkel. However, because we didn’t find any on the snorkel, we had to search for them also. We found a grand total of one coral, a substantial contribution to the Jesuit Reef (It takes one to build many!). After we bucketed the coral, we swam it to the collection container and deposited it among the many already there. After a well-deserved lunch, we once again hit the water; this time to plant the coral. I buddied up with another pair, and together we successfully zip-tied the 11 centimeters of coral splicing to our designated cinder block at the bottom of the ocean. After that, I waited, doing flips in the water, while the rest of the group finished their transplanting. We finished the day magnificently, with a snorkel of the nighttime. We splashed into the ice cold water at about 9:00 or 7:00 or 8:00, I don’t exactly know, but it was dark, I mean pitch black. So anyways, Dylan and I got a light to share and we began the snorkel. It was frightening, you couldn’t see anything outside the radius of the light. At one point, I got separated from my sea monkey group, and had to Michael Phelps it back to the group, and the official times are not in, but I don’t think he holds the record anymore. After that crowning achievement (I hope Mr. Waits was watching), Casey took us through a monstrous rock bed which was lovely. I just closed my eyes and flippered as fast as I could; I don’t think it would have mattered even if I had my eyes open because I could see bupkis.

The next day…
MC Ruse (the hermaphroditic rooster/chicken hybrid) came back for an encore performance, which was just fantastic. After the concert, we hiked down to the taxi which took us to breakfast on the marina. After breakfast, we headed out to the Rhone for our last two dives of the trip. They were the best dives of my life, which does not do them justice because I have had a total of 11, most of them in a lake. We saw parrotfish, barracuda, lionfish, and eagle rays, just some girthy monstrosities of fish in and around the towering vestiges of the once bustling cargo/luxury passenger ship, apply dubbed “The Unsinkable”(imagine that). We even got to swim through the hull of the ship, which I got stuck in a few times. After two dives at the Rhone, we headed off to Cooper Island where I had a succulent take on the classic fish and chips. After that, we jumped back onto the boat and set sail for a nice sea grass bed. We snorkeled there and saw a few turtles, some more barracuda, and then had a long, tiring swim back to the boat against the current. I had to revisit my Olympic swimming skills for this one. It was by far and away the longest and hardest swim of my life. We ended the last day of diving with Mad Dogs for dinner and dive logging.