Day 4 – Day of Diving


Day 4 started very bright and early for Jack and me. Alarms blaring at 6, Jack woke me up and we both put on our running clothes in a groggy haze. Luckily, I couldn’t think straight and didn’t understand what I was getting myself into when Casey told us we would be hill running, otherwise I would have convinced myself I didn’t need a run and would have gone back to bed. After a grueling workout, we needed to shower, but our shower was conveniently not working! We hitched a shower at a neighbors cabin and went off to a hearty breakfast, which would be much needed after run and with a long day ahead of us. After packing the dive gear and preparing to leave, we left for the best diving day of the trip. Waiting in anticipation during the 30 min boat ride, we arrived at a lonely island where a proposed shark hot spot was located. Casey quickly briefed us about our dive and we got in the water, descending to about 60 feet. The reef flourished with healthy corals and an abundance of fish, most likely due to its distance from populated areas. Immediately the group saw a reef shark, sparking everyone’s interests and excitement. Collectively, 4 reef sharks and countless rare or magnificent fish were spotted during our 40 minute dive, and I can easily say at that moment I was struck with a lingering awe, but God had plans for us to see much greater for things today, as we found out. Mr. Steve the Scuba Man trolled the boat to the backside of the island we just dove and moored to a buoy while we waited for our nitrogen levels to drop so we could dive the sight now below us; wreck alley and deep chromis. A few guys almost lost their stomachs, but unfortunately Jack Kelley kept his sea sickness at bay and we didn’t get to see a fish feeding frenzy :(. Another quick brief and we were off to dive. This site resembled the first but did not have sharks. We dove around a bit at 50 feet and decided to cross over a tug boat wreck, and that’s when everyone stopped. An enormous fish loomed over the boat, towering us. This fish was as big as me with 5 times the girth and had a big ugly face of the Goliath grouper. Goliath grouper live In very deep, dark waters, sluggishly moving and hiding, so witnessing this was a once in a lifetime experience. I could not comprehend the size of what would seem to be a normal size fish from far away. After our minds were blown, we went to a nearby resort for the best fish and chips in the Caribbean, so, predictably, I ordered double. Stuffed to our necks, I assumed I would be able to take my daily siesta, which usually happens around 2 at school. They did not allow me to maintain my schedule, and we set off to snorkel sea grasses and observe a different type of habitat. The grasses were loaded with turtles and rays, and occasionally your average cuda. Everyone climbed aboard and the Day of diving was over, so we showered and went to mass. The priest was Russian so I was thoroughly confused, but the sermon was good nonetheless. We went back, ate, and collectively prepared our plan of attack for tomorrow’s big day.