Saturday Blog – John Wengierski


Our first day in the British Virgin Islands began with Mr. Kirby waking me and my roommates, Ryan Black, Joseph Stautner, David Madrazo, and Preston Sledge, up at 7:00 am. With only fifteen minutes to get ready the five of us rushed to prepare ourselves for the long day ahead. We began in our classroom and officially met the Dive BVI staff led by Casey McNutt. Casey began a group discussion about the morality of places like Seaworld that display Killer Whales to the public. She brought up important points of the discussion including whether not displaying the animals to public inspires them to protect the ocean and marine life or not. The classroom then shifted to fish identification which included learning the different classifications for the Caribbean wildlife, fish and coral. Casey educated us on what we would be seeing on the dives and made sure we knew which types of coral would sting us if we touched them. We then sat down for lunch and prepared for the taxi down to the docks for our first dive. I was assigned to the Sea Dragon boat with Casey, Mr. Gruninger, and Mrs. Boyle to guide us. After going through the safety points of the boat Casey reviewed the assembly of our diving equipment. My dive buddy, Ty Morin, and I put together our equipment and retired to the upper deck with Casey for the ride out to the reef. Before entering the water we were given a brief about the dive site which covered a basic map of the reef, depth, and overall time for the dive. After much anticipation we finally jumped into the water with our group and began our descent. The dive began with a quick review of a few diving skills and then preceded on to exploring the reef. After about 20 minutes of fish identification around the reef we rounded a corner and came up the infamous chimney, a rock formation that consists of two walls about 4 feet apart leading back into open water. After the dive we went back to our huts at Guava Berry to get ready for our mass at the top of a mountain overlooking the entire island and the bay. Our day concluded with a lasagna dinner and a short but intense game of ultimate frisbee on the beach.