Day 1


Since this was my first time going to the BVIs and on the Jesuit Marine Biology trip, I really did not know what the week would be like. I was very curious about what we would do on the first day, because it is the day where I get a first impression of the island and the marine biology program. I can now say that I greatly enjoyed today and all the activities were fun, adventurous, and great learning experiences. Our first dive was at a place that our captain, Jeff, on the Sea Monkey said they had not named yet. There, we did checkout dives where we familiarized ourselves with different scuba safety procedures. It was during these procedures that I sighted my first fish species in the BVIs. It was a huge school of barjacks that passed right by us. Since barjacks are very small in size it would make since for them to school in order to make themselves look larger and more intimidating to predators. We were doing these procedures in a spacious, sandy, area with no coral reefs in sight. These types of areas are where marine predators, such as Barracuda, like to hunt for prey, which explains why prey will school when in this setting. After the safety procedures we explored a coral reef where I saw parrotfish, squirrelfish, and even a moray eel! The next dive we had took us to a wrecked airplane that acted as an artificial reef to fish. Jeff explained to us some of the problems with this artificial reef such as the danger of sharp edges that can injure you, and the fact that it is made of metal. Because it is made of metal, it will rust from being under water causing it to be more likely for the artificial reef to be damaged by contact. I also was able to see a jellyfish during this dive which I remember was in the phylum Cnidaria. From the plane we explored another reef where I saw the fish species known as damselfish. I saw how they acted very territorial by chasing other fish away from their section of the coral reef. After lunch we went to a national park in the BVIs called the Baths. I learned that the BVIs were created by convergent tectonic plate movements, explaining why the islands are very rocky and arid. One possible reason the national park is called the Baths is because it was a place for slaves to be washed after their voyage in the Atlantic passage. Another possible reason behind the name is that many of the stones in the park are called Batholiths, which are stones created by gasses. Before dinner we discussed our projects with our dive master Jeff. He gave us great suggestions such as keeping the two reefs, that we will be conducting our experiment at, at the same depth in order not to have any other variables besides that amount of blue tang and how healthy the reef is. He told us that we should work at shallow depths because we will find a majority of blue tang there. This is because blue tang are herbivores and more plants will grow at shallower surfaces due to better sunlight. The following picture is the sunrise where that we witnessed from our dinner overlooking the beach.