On day three, we practiced turtle tagging after listening to a lesson from Dr. Gore. During her presentation, we learned about several types of turtles such as green sea, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles. For example, we learned that leatherback turtles can grow up to six feet in length, and that the turtles we’d be catching in the BVI would either be hawksbill or green sea turtles. When we started our turtle catch in Savannah Bay, all of us were struggling mightily. Groups of students would chase after different turtles and come extremely close to nabbing them, but just lose them at the last second when the turtles would boost themselves away. This went on for around thirty minutes until Luke Gomez and Mr. Golab double-teamed a green sea turtle and finally brought it to the boat. On the boat we took measurements of the turtle such as carapace length that would be used later for research. Following the exhausting turtle chasing, we hiked through The Baths, a trail with gigantic rocks scattered throughout it. All these rocks were created naturally over time through a mixture of lava and other rocks that were on the surface. On the trail, we connected to the land and tried several edible items such as termites and mangos found on trees. The termites curiously tasted like wood and pepper. After our hike through the baths we ended up at the beach and snorkeled back to Guavaberry Springs. That snorkel was uneventful for the most part, but we did see one turtle. Following that snorkel, we had a cookout on the beach and celebrated the birthdays of Jackson Suarez and Duncan Caddedu. To end the day, we had an exhilarating night snorkel. We were all equipped with flashlights and basically went off the cove of the Guavaberry beach and startled all the sleeping fish with our flashing lights. During this snorkel, I saw two squids, a tarpon, and two stingrays. It was an interesting experience and I thought it was cool how the reef fish became more passive while predatory creatures became more aggressive.
On day four, we dived the Rhone, snorkeled Seagrass, and went to Mass with a sermon about making choices. To start the day, we dove the Rhone, a steamship that a hurricane sunk in the late1800s, which now harbors a large number of diverse aquatic life. We reached a maximum depth of around seventy-five feet and dove inside a hole in the ship. While inside the Rhone, we saw a barracuda that would make laps around the wreckage and eye us curiously. Since this was my first experience wreck diving, I was amazed by everything I saw, and considering the wreck was not artificial, I thought it was a memorable dive because of all the history surrounding the ship. For instance, the Rhone used to be a sort of “cruise” ship, taking the wealthiest English citizens across the ocean for fun and recreation. Following the Rhone, we snorkeled Seagrass, a cove which literally had seagrass on the floor and contained animals such as turtles, stingrays, and parrotfish. The most interesting creature I saw was a small octopus, hiding in a hole under a few branches of coral. Lastly, we attended mass and heard a sermon about free will and how it is our decision to choose how we wish to approach the world. The sermon also provided information that bad things to occur in this world, because God does not want to prevent us from practicing our free will. He wants us to make choices and decide for ourselves to come to him or not.