Day 2 – Marc Riccione


        Today I woke up at seven in the morning to eat breakfast served by my own Jesuit instructors, Mr. Greninger and Mr. Golab. After breakfast, the Jesuit Marine Bio group and I went to orientation to learn about the general procedures of the boats, the Sea Monkey and the Sea Dragon. I also met my fantastic diving instructors, Gazz and Becca. Casey McNutt refreshed us on gearing up for a dive. After this, we went to Dog Island to explore and review scuba skills. I was very excited for this dive because it would be my first dive in a ocean. I also had never dived deeper than twenty five feet before the dive on Dog Island. My diving instructor, Becca, taught me and my diving group how to breathe without a regulator, to retrieve our regulators, to clear our masks of water, and to put on our masks after taking it off underwater. After learning these skills, Becca took me and my diving group exploring on the coral reefs. The coral reefs were filled with tons of fish. Some of the many fish I saw were blue tang, barracudas, parrotfish, and squirrel fish. One of the highlights of the dive was seeing the feather duster worm. Becca snapped her fingers an inch close to the feather duster worm and the worm shot back into coral to hide. After this forty five minute dive, Casey, Beeca, and Gazz greeted us with snacks. After eating the snacks, my diving group traveled to the coral gardens for the second dive. Gazz briefed my diving group on the second dive which included exploring a sunken plane fuselage. During this dive, I saw spotted goatfish, red female parrotfish, gray angelfish, and hermit crabs. Going inside the plane fuselage was very cool for me because I had never gone into such a closed place when diving. The first dive of today was hard for me to swim and hover, but after the second dive I felt like I was a scuba diving master. After the second dive, the Jesuit Marine Biology class went back to the marina on Virgin Gorda to have lunch. I had a delicious Caesar chicken wrap with fries. After lunch, we walked to the Baths National Park to hike. Hiking in the Baths National Park is currently my favorite highlight of the trip. I thought it was incredible how the massive granite boulders were perfectly stacked on top of each other. We went in between these giant rocks and even had to crouch walk in between the openings in between the rocks. After this awesome hike, we snorkeled from Devil’s Bay to Guava Berry. This was the first time I snorkeled in a ocean. During the snorkel, I dived frequently to ten feet at a time. I stopped diving during the snorkel trip because my ears were hurting. I didn’t realize I had to equalize when snorkeling which is the reason why my ears hurt. A highlight of the snorkel trip was seeing a stingray. I found it very cool how the stingray glided gracefully over the sand. After the snorkel, we took showers before presenting our Marine Bio projects to the diving instructors. After the presentation, we had a lasagna dinner on the beach. Overall it was a fantastic day.