Day 6: The Beginning of the End


Today started out later than expected. After a few days of intense cardio and working out, Christian and I decided to sleep in and skip our workout (Sunday is a day of rest thankfully). Casey of course decided to run which made us both feel guilty but it’s ok in the end. Once we finally decided to wake up, we got our gear together and then met Glenn at the cattle guard around 7:55am. Glenn, as he normally does, took us to the marina for some breakfast at a good restaurant. Instead of getting my typical oats and fruit, I decided to try the omelet. It turns out that it was much better than what I had expected. I only wish that I could have gotten more. After breakfast and some coffee, Marine 2 went over to the Dive BVI office to take a look at some of the photos which our camera took earlier this morning that Casey had kindly printed off for us. Taking the printouts, we cut the borders and attached them together to form a panoramic view of our reef. We placed the collage around two trashcans and then we moved that over to the boat. After some discussion and prep we headed out to the boats for our dives. Scuba Steve was our driver/captain yet again and he performed flawlessly (Jeff was greatly missed). Once we got to our first sight Marine 2 was in charge of preparing and cleaning the areas which would be used to place the transplant. Using brushes and scrapers, our group prepared around 15 spots around the camera which can be studied. This was our first of three dives. Marine 1 at the time was collecting coral to be used on the transplants. Going back to after the first dive, Mr. Kirby began to experiment with the epoxy that would be used to hold the corals down. While it was not working well at first, he eventually solved the problem and everything was good to go. Our group took a short break and then Marine 1 arrived. They quickly attached themselves to our boat and then we all grouped up. Once all of the talking and relaxing had ended, we got to eat lunch on the boats. Lunch consisted of turkey sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly. These were both delicious and seemed to attract a large amount of seagulls. After lunch Casey prepped our next dive and selected Andrew, Chris, and I to go out and place the epoxy putty down before the coral. After all of the epoxy had been placed we surfaced and talked for a bit while waiting for Sarah and the coral pieces. After a very long wait, she finally arrived but it was too late. The epoxy had hardened, bummer! Instead of giving up Casey brought out extra epoxy and we used the remaining amount to secure down about 10 pieces of coral. This all together took around and hour and a half. The group then swam back to the boat for a surface interval. This interval did not last long however and before I knew it I was back in the water. This time however our mission was to take pictures of the coral with a ruler for measurements and data. This information will be used later to find some relationship and results of our procedure. Andrew and I were assigned to measure two different fragments. We each took one and performed the requested task (this took around five minutes). After finishing, Andrew and I made trek back to the boat. Each time we swam to and from the boat we were constantly dodging moon jellyfish! While they may not be dangerous, Andrew and I took all of the precautionary measurements to avoid them, which we did successfully. The rest of the group joined us on the boat and we prepared to head back to the Marina for a final time. On the way back Casey was taking pictures and all of the students were talking. I was remembering all of the good times and fun that I had while I was scuba diving (that was our final dive of the trip which made me sad in a way because I do not want to think about leaving). Regardless, we arrived at the marina, cleaned the boat, and went back to Guavaberry. Having some extra time, Doc and Mr. Kirby gave us some free time to do what we pleased before dinner on the beach. Around 6:30 we headed to the beach where we got to talk and relax with friends. Casey brought us delicious pizza which we quickly devoured and some sweet lemonade. After dinner, Jeff, Casey, Mr. Kirby, a few others and I all talked. We received some priceless lessons from Jeff and Casey that I will never forget. To end this blog I will give you a simple but very true quote from Jeff: “be nice”

Jack Kelley