Today set the bar high for the rest if the trip. First, we got up to see an informative presentation on sea turtle conservation. We then split off into our boat groups; while one boat went to try and tag sea turtles, we went down to the shore to learn about reef invertebrates. After snorkeling for a bit, I brought back a measly snail, only to discover that it could fire a dart coated in neurotoxin. We also were able to see a giant hermit crab, and some fascinating slugs covered in camouflaging frills.
Once we refueled with a hearty lunch, we switched with the other boat. We saw some sea turtles near the boat immediately, but based on my experience last year, I believed that our chances of actually catching one were slim. I managed to get close to one before it sped away, and I was going to give up when one of the others actually managed to catch one. After getting it onboard the ship, we took its measurements and tagged it, each of us amazed at our good fortune. We ultimately decided to name the turtle after the man who caught it: Dawson. Our boat returned to the marina with high spirits.
After a brief resting period, we all gathered at the beach for some games between the houses. I remembered a similar event from last year, and I was excited to once again claim victory. This year, however, the stakes were raised much height than last years hats. This time, the first prize was 50$ gift cards to the dive BVI shop! Me and the rest of house Lime Tree became determined to win. We won first place in the water ballon dodge ball, third in the dive-equipment relay, first again in the sand pictionary, and second in the blind snorkeling race. All that was left was to win the obstacle race. I had to run along the shore, identify a shell on a laminated sheet, roll down a sandy hill, swim around a buoy, run up a hill, and slide down a tarp. Although we were lagging behind at first, but the the shell identification obstacle managed to even out the time. In the end, house Lime Tree took home the prize. We were also rewarded with a delicious lasagna dinner afterward. All in all, even though we didn’t get to dive, today was serious contender for the highlight of the trip.