Luke Gomez- BVI- days 3&4


Yesterday was the night snorkel so the teachers gave us the night off from the blogging. We started out eating breakfast as normal. Afterwards, we had a lesson of how the sea turtle population was declining very quickly and how recently, measures have been taken to protect the population from extinction. One of these protection methods was to track the turtles via tagging to show their migration patterns, which gives a lot of helpful information about the population and turtle characteristics. When the lesson was completed, we went out on the boat to tag some turtles. At the start we were dragged by rope at the end of the boat while snorkeling to try and find some turtles resting at the bottom. After many jellyfish attacks, we moved on to different tactics. We then entered into a beach area filled with sea turtles. The only problem was their swimming speed and duration. After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally grabbed onto a green turtle with Mr. Angolan giving me backup, and fought with the turtle to get to the boat. I caught a green turtle, the only catch of the day and the largest turtle caught and tagged by any jesuit student in the marine biology program. After that tagging we went to lunch and then proceeded to go to the Baths, an area filled with rock formations named for the slave trade area where they would bathe the slaves before they would be sold in the early days of the “New World”. I discovered the different types of rocks, how they were formed, and the many uses. After the tour, we snorkeled throughout the area viewing things like trunk fish, thousands of sea urchins, barracuda, and many other different species of fish. After the snorkel, we made our way back to the beach at our vacation homes where we hung out for a while playing frisbee and cooking out. After burgers and hotdogs, we went for a night snorkel where we all discovered how alive the ocean is even in complete darkness. We saw rays, squid, tarpon, and even bioluminescent plankton throughout the water. After a while in the darkness, we returned to the beach, and walked home in the darkness and promptly went to bed. The next morning I woke up anticipating the Rhone dive. The Rhone was a British ship from 1865-1867 that was way before it’s time. It could travel at a speed of about 15 knots, which is amazing for almost 150 years ago. It sunk in a hurricane along with 20 other British vessels killing the captain as well as every passenger besides one in a boiler explosion before it official sank. It was a dive in hallowed waters. It was truly amazing the life that came out of so much horror. Marine animals created an ecosystem unlike any other that I have ever observed. The dive was extremely deep and breathtaking. After that we went to coop inland for delicious fish and chips followed by a snorkel of the area where we saw many turtles, rays, and even a lot of lobsters. After that we attended mass at the top of a mountain, followed by a barbecue dinner. The past two days were fantastic and I can’t wait for tomorrow!