Day Four


Adding on to the research done yesterday, our first dive today was at Ginger’s Backside. During our first test, I spotted a viscous-looking lion fish camped in a cavern right next to a 3-foot long barracuda. On the second dive, we dove about 35 feet down to a gorgeous reef encircling a towering rock that just barely broke the surface. Once we finished our last data collection, we began exploring the reef. Swimming around a bend, Beth, our dive instructor, pointed to an opening under a boulder. As I swam closer, I began to make out a fish bigger than anything I’d seen before. I was lying on the sea floor less than a foot from the opening when I realized the mega fish was no fish at all, but a 5-foot nurse shark, staring me in the eyes. Lying their, the shark began to swim at me. Right when it was within an arms reach, it turned back, retreating to the rock. Later in the dive, we came across four beagle-sized spiny lobster under a rock. I surfaced from that dive a changed man, the shark spoke to me, and changed my perspective on sea life for the better. 
After another lunch on the boats, my dive group moved gear to the Sea Monkey boat. On the way over to our third dive, Mr. Marr pulled some strings and I ended driving the boat. We started our third dive of the day, cleaning and maintaining the Jesuit staghorn reef nursery. In about an hour, Dawson and I cleaned an entire PVC pipe tree, suffering through the multiple bites and stings from hydroids, fire coral, and shrimp that had grown onto the pipes and coral. Once back at the hotel, we finished up our projects, ate pasta, and enjoyed the sunset.