Yesterday July 27 we got a later departure for breakfast which was 7:45 which meant we got just a little bit more sleep. After a breakfast of cheese omelets and sausage we headed out for a two tank dives to really test out our fish identification skills. In dive buddies we had to find and ID as many fish as we could during the tour. I got the first dive for writing and I came up with around 26 different species of fish, crustaceans, and corals. We also found a couple sharks and a sea turtle. On our second dive in a cave like structure we found a lion fish and luckily Scuba Steve was down there with us with his spear gun. He hit it close range and fed it to the shark. We took the boats back in for lunch and then headed back to Guavaberry to change and drop our bags off. On our hikes through the baths we learned about the granite rock formations and how they might be carved out to look like skulls by “pirates” to scare off other pirates. We had a nutritious snack provided by Sarah that was all natural and came from the trees. Apparently natives uses to live on these termites because it has a high source of protein. We hiked to our dive spot where we would start out snorkel back to the beach where Guavaberry is. On the snorkel right off the bat we found a flounder laying on the sandy bottom. Along the way there was an arched rock formed to where we couldn’t swim over so we had to dive down and swim under. We saw 3 different stingrays as well. We arrived at the beach and we rewarded ourselves with a few minutes of beach time. For dinner we had rice and beans with chicken wings.
Today started with a BLT for breakfast and a 30 minute boat ride out to the Rhone. One the first day I was having a little trouble equalizing my left ear around 40 so the thought of doubling that distance was daunting. Start going down and made it without an issue. We swam to the bow of the wreck and right off the bat a huge barracuda is sitting inside waiting for us. Moving along and swimming through the sunken ship we saw tons of amazing things. Our guide Sarah swam right over an octopus blended into the coral. Another person swam over and it sparked to life and bolted out. Even though she swam over the octopus he redeemed herself with finding a baby spotted moray eel that was maybe 6 inches long. The most interesting thing about the wreck however is the story. The ship using to escape an on coming hurricane was tossed aside but a huge wave split in half on rocks surrounding Salt Island. The cooler water mixed with the hot engine and it exploded. After we finished with the Rhone which so far had been the coolest dive of all we went to Cooper Island for our fish and chips lunch. The British are known for their fish and chips and these did not disappoint. We then went and got some gelato from a store next door. The coconut was amazing. After we snorkeled the coast and found an octopus and brought it up. When putting it back in the water it inked everywhere. We saw many many stingrays cruising along the bottom for their next meal and lots of sea urchins. Under a sailboat on the way back to the boat we saw 5 tarpon. Being the fisherman I am it overtook the Rhone and became the new best part of the trip. We couldn’t look at them forever unfortunately so we headed to the boat to go home. Dinner was on the beach tonight and Jeff grilled burgers and dogs for us. After we ate there was a quick full contact ultimate frisbee game and some cooling off in the ocean and then it was time for our final snorkel of the day. The night snorkel was in the little bay by Guavaberry and we were all supplied waterproof flashlights. The night life is completely different. At night we saw different squid and hermit crabs the size of someone’s head. Again at night the sting rays were out lively being almost everywhere you looked. Some were spotted but I did not see any octopus tonight. It’s only 10:15 at the time I’m writing this and I’m beat and ready for bed. Can’t wait till tomorrow. I know you’re reading this so goodnight mom.