Vincent Miranda Day 5


Our day began with the usual alarm and breakfast cooked by our gracious chaperones and a trip down to marina for our last dives in the British Virgin Islands. While the other dive boat and their crew had to attend to pressing business involving their projects our boat had a grand day with music and incredible experiences. Our first dive was a little ways out in the area we tagged turtles and the objective of this dive was to clean off coral that the Dive BVI group had planted on PVC pipe trees, using clear wire as well as a pole hammered weight and large buoys that held the tree in place and prevented it from tipping over. The group leaders had been cultivating these coral trees for a long period of time in order to transplant them where needed most and our job of the day was to take special gloves and a green scrubber to wipe off every pipe and its edges as well as the strings holding up the coral and get all of the algal growths off of the construct in order for the coral to grow peacefully and unhindered until the next cleaning. Our dive was quite long and the depth remained around 20 feet, so after finishing we spent some time gliding around and checking the nearby reef. The experience was not at all what I had previously assumed it would be, which I thought would be tedious and generally useless, and it was conversely fun and obviously useful to the coral who needed prime conditions for the highest chance at survival. Upon ascending and eating our daily snack we headed off to our final dive location, which was by far one of the coolest dives I personally thought we experienced this trip. Although the area seemed generally similar to most other dive sites we visited, we got to enjoy a fresher trip due to a local “chimney” nearby which is akin to a reef trench. The walls of said trench were covered with all sorts of various corals which protruded dully from its rocky sides and our swim through was brightened up by lobsters and cleaner shrimp that entertained us for s vast majority of the time. At the end was an incredibly narrow exit which barely allowed me through unless my arms were tight against my body. For a final dive it was phenomenal, from the amount of time spent down there to the scenery it was all perfect. Afterwards, the two dive boats met up along the shoreline of a dried up salt pond, and after lunch we swam ashore to the soft beach in order to take a tour of the dusty salt flat. The tour was short and ended within 15 minutes, yet we still learned that salt scrapers flood the pond and fill it with salt and when it dries up they scrape off the layers in order to harvest the salt and sell it. The swim back was a real challenge and on top of that our ships captains made us race to see who would eat dinner first. We won obviously. Eventually we drifted back to shore and to our residences, where we prepared for two hours for our final presentation of projects to our dive masters. Our group got to go first due to myself barging into the meeting room despite another group being called, but they had very difficult questions to answer and the presentation challenged us greatly. We emerged victorious after a while, and we sat down for our pizza feast and finally rest.