Return to Paradise Day 1 and 2


Day 1/2
At 5 am my alarm clock went off after going to bed at 3 am (I could not sleep because of how excited I was). We headed to the airport, went through security, and then headed off to Miami. We jumped onto the next flight at then landed in Puerto Rico. Finally, we went to Tortola in a small island plane. We walked over to the dock and were greeted by the smiling faces (as always) of Jeff and Casey. We said our hellos, put our bags on, and then headed over to paradise, Virgin Gorda. The excitement began along the boat ride from Tortola to Virgin Gorda as we past by schools of bioluminescent fish on the top deck of Sea Dragon (very cool fish!). The cool breeze and smell of the ocean only furthered my excitement for the next few upcoming days. We promptly went to bed, exhausted after a long day of travel. But before we went to bed, my group had a small encounter with a scorpion! It was very small and tan colored (the smaller the more poisonous). After that incident, we then went to bed.

My second day began at 5:30am with a rooster crowing uncontrollably outside our cabin. Eventually however, the exhaustion set in and I tuned out the roosters, only to sleep for another precious hour. Sitting down on my bed I began to daydream of all the upcoming activities that Casey, Jeff, and the staff of Dive BVI had in plan for us. We met up at the cattle guard around 7:30am. Soon after we headed over to meet/say hi to Tina, the manger and owner of Gauvaberry Resort. She welcomed us to her resort and laid down the ground rules. Then we were off to breakfast at the Old Yard where we said hello to some familiar faces such as Jeff, Casey, and Sarah. Additionally, we got to meet some of the new instructors of Dive BVI (all of them were incredibly nice!). There was a delicious breakfast prepared for us which we quickly demolished. Soon after Casey gave us presentations and then the Sea World debate began. Doc. Vs. Me (I was kindly volunteered by my shy friends). We debated for and against Sea World and it turned out to be a very successful argument for both sides. Once the debate ended we played a fish ID game with Jeremy and Casey. Then we got our cameras from Casey and set them up so that we could use them later in the day. After more presentations we ate lunch and then headed out to the boat yard. As we arrived we spilt up right away into our boats and gathered our supplies. We ran through our gear to make sure we had everything and then Casey informed us that we would get to do some things that the crew of a boat would do (I found this to be very interesting). Casey ran through a checklist about all of the different things that need to be checked on a daily basis such as the gas levels, oil, electronics, etc. After everything checked out, we pulled out of the marina and were on our way to an underwater world full of life forms of many different shapes and sizes. The boat ride was fairly short and the weather was beautiful. We got to the dive sight and Casey gave us a briefing. Before this however I got to lay the anchor for Casey which was much different than what I was expecting. Next, Andrew (my dive partner) and I geared up and then jumped into a new world awaiting us below. We dove around our old coral reef where we were disappointed to find many of the corals destroyed by anchor damage. Along the way we took many photos which turned out to be much more difficult that what I expected. Once this first dive ended (30 minutes long), our group took a 10 minute ride over to our new location where we expect to put the camera and new coral transplants. At the new sight our objective was to find a suitable place for the camera. Along the way we continued to take photos. I almost ran into a jellyfish along the way! I saw lots of parrot fish, angel fish, and drum fish. We surfaced after finding a good place and then we returned to the marina. After clearing off the boat we headed back to our rooms, showered, and then we went to dinner. We had pasta and meat sauce which was delicious. After talking and relaxing we came over to fill out our dive logs and write our blogs. Here I am now at 9 pm, writing to you about my first day in Virgin Gorda, also known as paradise. Goodnight and don’t let the scorpions bite.

-Jack Kelley