Our final day of diving here in the BVI began uneventfully, but for a full recap, please see the opening sentences of past posts. Where the days begin to differ was when we went back to the dive shop. Today, Casey had printouts of a panorama view from the camera we installed. Reverting to our kindergarten love of arts and crafts, we cut out the individual pictures and assembled them to form a single circular picture that was a surprisingly accurate representation of the camera’s surroundings. Casey ingeniously came up with the idea of encircling two trash bins to allow us to envision the view more clearly. The goal of this was to predetermine areas within the camera’s view where we want to transplant the coral to. Once we had our sites picked out we headed to the boats and out to Baraka Point, a 10 minute boat ride away. On our first dive, each buddy team was given a brush to clear algae away from the places we would be placing the coral. A long surface interval followed as we waited for the Marine Biology 1 guys to finish harvesting the coral from the old reef. Most of this time was spent tanning on the bow of the boat. Despite a few red areas, I remain hopeful that my skin will return to Dallas a luscious bronze. As an aside, yes Mother, I have been wearing the copious amounts of sunscreen like you suggested. Once the two boats meet up, we broke for lunch. After lunch, we decided we should put the protein we had eaten to use, and came up with the “Feats of Strength” competition. The first part was tricep dips on the bow of the boat, a remarkably tiring endeavor. The second leg of the competition was ‘David push-ups’, which, as the name probably suggests, are push-ups with David Davis sitting on your back. I won this section with a grand total of 4. Finally, we finished off with a cooperative challenge, the hanging-foot-water-bottle-toss. This included 4 people hanging from the supports on the roof of the boat and handing (or rather footing) a water bottle around in a circle. Thoroughly exhausted, we began briefing for the next dive, physically replanting the coral. We were divided into about 6 groups, each one consisting of a Marine Bio 2 guy leading 2 Marine Bio 1 guys. My group included Aidan and Luke. Staggering our entrances to avoid overcrowding the area around the camera, we left about a half hour after the initial epoxy had been set. After the surface swim to the camera, we descended to place our corals. This went without incident, but the dive concluded with at least a bit of tension. On our way back to the boat, my group took a wrong turn somewhere near Albuquerque and ended up swimming off in a skewed direction from the boat. Once the water began to get deeper, I realized something was amiss, motioned for my group to stop, and rose to the surface to check our position. I immediately found that we were decidedly off course. After a ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore Todo’ moment, I brought my group to the surface, where we firmly stayed for the remainder of the swim back to the boat. Our final dive of the day, which we were pessimistically reminded was our final dive in our Marine Biology class, was to measure each of the corals for documentation purposes. We dove to where the corals had been planted, and took several photos from multiple angles to determine the size of each of them. After this final dive, we went back to the marina and then to Guavaberry. Before dinner, we were given about an hour and a half of free time, during some of which I wrote all of what you just read. After the break, we trekked down to the beach for a sunset dinner of pizza. Jeff yet again graced us with his life knowledge for what I heavy-heartedly believe to be the final time. Once dinner had concluded, it was revealed to us that we would get an extra hour of sleep, much to the delight of most of us.
The following two pictures are some of the other residents of Guavaberry.