Day 2

1

On the second day of this trip, I was able to increase my knowledge in marine biology through two exciting dives. The first dive took us to a place called wreck alley. While going to Wreck Alley, Beth taught us the names of several islands we passed by. I saw Cooper Island, Salt Island, and Tortola island. She told us more about what living on the BVIs is like. One interesting fact is that there are no chain stores on the BVIs, so locals have to travel to St.Thomas on the U.S. Virgin Islands when they want to shop at places like Target or Walmart. When we got to Wreck Alley, Beth talked about the four artificial shipwrecks that were created. Beth talked about how these ships were once cargo ships and how they one was sunk in 1999 and the other, which was upside down, was sunk in 2009. Beth explained the difficulties with creating artificial reefs from ships. One is that it is difficult to place ships in the exact locations you want them. In Wreck Alley, the 4 ships there were suppose to be placed evenly apart, but instead two of the ships are around 10 feet away from each other, and from those two ships another pair of ships were 157 feet away. Another difficulty is that the local government won’t approve of creating artificial reefs regularly because they don’t see how it will make money. Beth told us that artificial reefs make money very indirectly, through tourism. During this dive, I saw tarpon, dogsnappers, and a small lionfish. On the second dive we went to Cistern Reef where we did a project dive at a healthy reef. It was very difficult to layout a perimeter to conduct our project in because there was a strong current. We also got insufficient data because we did not see as much blue tang as we thought we would. We also ran out of air because we were diving for 52 minutes. After we ate lunch we had a lot of fun playing a variety of games on the beach. Our group got in second place. We then had mass at a very scenic viewpoint on the island, and then went to dinner. For dinner I had Maui Maui, which is also called Dolphinfish or Dorado. It was very tasty. During dinner we talked with Gaz about how people often get injured by Barracuda when wearing silver jewelry because Barracuda will think it’s small prey. Gaz also told us about how he once encountered a tiger shark. We then saw a fire show which was extremely cool. These guys were very talented and also very brave to be that close to fire. Before the end of the night Jeff, Casey, and Mr. Von talked to our project group about changing it the question in order to obtain more accurate results, and less variables. We came to the conclusion that we would try to test what constitutes a healthy reef by counting the amount of. herbivores, bleaching, and algae at a coral reef. It would be very interesting to even create a reef scale after the experiment that measures how healthy a reef is. The following picture is the view before diving into wreck alley.

  • Mary Anne Walters

    WOW Clay, how could I live there without a Target! haha
    It must be so wonderful to be surrounded by such beauty. Wreck Alley seems very interesting! I’m so proud of the work you and the guys are doing.