Day 3 Blog


Today we embarked of what became my favorite dive (so far). We explored the wreck of the Rhone, a British luxury ship, and one of the first ships to use a steam-powered propeller in conjunction with sails. Declared “unsinkable” in 1865, it ironically sunk in 1867. The story goes like this: during a particularly bad storm in the BVI, one that was the second most powerful ever recorded in the area, the Rhone attempted to boat into open water, where it was safer. After guiding the ship for over two hours, Captain Willy believed that he must be far from the coastline by now. He did not know that waves had been pushing him back, and in reality he had barely moved at all, so he was quite surprised when someone in the crows nest spotted land through the waves. The good Captain left his room and onto the deck, when a huge wave knocked him overboard. Left without a leader, the crew panicked and the ship ran aground, causing the boiler to explode. None of the guests, except one, survived, because they where all strapped to their beds (this was a common practice at the time, as the crew did not want anyone wandering around the ship during a storm and hurting themselves). The one guest that did survive had a room near the boiler when it exploded, jettisoning him of the ship. The guest had also grown up in the Mediterranean, and unlike most people at the time, knew how to swim. Other the Captain Willy, the entire crew survived, because they where able to grab onto floating debris. On the first dive of the wreck, we explored the front end of the ship, which had two points of interest, the the first being porthole of room 27, which belonged to the one surviving passenger. We rubbed it three times clockwise for good luck. The next point of interest was Captain Willy’s teaspoon, which was also rubbed by some people, even though it wasn’t very lucky. In between the two, we swam through the hull of the ship and saw some interesting animals, like a stingray. The next dive was on the back end of the ship, which was much less intact. This part of the wreck had been above the water at one point, and was ordered to be sunk with explosives. However, more dynamite than was needed was used, and the whole thing blew apart as a result. We saw the propeller and the gearbox, both of which were really cool. After both dives, I was able to see the reefs that can form of a really long time, the one there was much more developed than the one that was forming on the plane. After the dives, we ate fish and chips at a resort called Cooper Island, and afterward had some of the best gelato I’ve ever had. The rest of the day was uneventful, until we went out for a night spelling session to see the nocturnal marine creatures. We saw a parrot fish that had covered it’s head in protective mucus for the night, two huge spiny lobsters, and an octopus. It was really interesting chasing it around and watching it change color. Today was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.