Day 5 in the BVI


Today’s morning was a little better than the past mornings. I was able to sleep and hour later till 8 and that sleep was amazing. Diving all day yesterday wiped me out. We ate breakfast at the teachers cabin and then headed down to the marina where we met Joel, a government official for the commercial fisheries department who specializes in protecting marine life, and he told us what he does each day for his job and the marine life and what exactly we will be doing this morning. Sea Monkey boat drove out towards Paul’s Grotto to begin turtle tagging. We were searching for three types of turtles: hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, and loggerhead sea turtles. Joel split the boat up into two groups for the tagging and my group went first into the water. The method we used for tagging was quite simple. We tossed a rope out behind the boat and there were three rings tied on the rope for each free diver to grab on to. The first diver to spot the turtle was the spotter until the turtle was caught and his job was only to raise his hand in the air and point at the turtle. The other five diver’s job were to place two divers on each side of the turtle and to have one diver be a flanker and grab the turtle. The most efficient way to snatch the turtle in the water is to grab the top of their shell and grab the bottom of their shell and to start swimming towards the surface to bring it on the boat. I was so close to grabbing the hawksbill turtle for my group. I swam down to about 20 feet multiple times and would get one hand either on the fin or the shell but could never get two hands on the turtle to actually grab it. It was pretty frustrating but it’s not that big of a deal. Our dive instructor Jeremy caught the turtle and that was pretty cool to watch. So once the turtle was on the boat, Joel took many different measurements of the shell, fins, and head and wrote them down on a piece of paper. Once recorded, Joel inserted two metal tags on the fins of the turtle and took a syringe and inserted a microchip in its neck. This tracks where the turtle is located at all time and the temperature of its body. We named the turtle Crush before we let it go. Once we let it go, team 2 jumped in the water and didn’t have any luck catching a turtle. So after turtle tagging, we went back to the marine and drove to Savannah Bay. We ate lunch here and learned about all kinds of invertebrates. We were able to touch and handle them safely. After the lesson, the group went on a snorkel for about 30 minutes. We then played tackle ultimate frisbee again and it was really fun. After, we left the beach and headed home so we could clean up before dinner. We at dinner at the bathes again but we ate Asian food tonight. It’s was pretty good. After dinner, Casey, one of the owners of Dive BVI, gave a presentation about how we are going to be transplanting coral tomorrow and it looks very interesting. Finally after a long day of enjoying the sun and the water, the day ended with us playing some cards in the cabin and heading to bed. See everyone tomorrow for another exciting day of diving.