Today started as well as any of the others- with a delicious breakfast and good friends. We quickly left for the marina, and wasted no time in boarding the Sea dragon. Our boat left for a reef near an island called Gingers Backside, so we could finish our experiment dives. The plan was to find an area primarily taken up by pillar coral, coral that grows straight up in thick, column-like stalks. Unfortunately, I picked up the wrong weights, and I was unable to stay steady while performing the experiment. Becca ended up having to add some of here weights to mine, and we ultimately decided to scrap the test in favor of a potentially better test in the next dive.
The Sea Dragon moved on to a site called Vanishing Rock, named for a stone outcropping near the shore that appears to disappear as the waves crash over it. The large underwater hill creates a strong current, bringing in nutrients that provide the basis for the reef. After diving, we immediately saw the largest group of Sargent Majors crowding around the largest cluster of pillar coral I have ever seen. After the testing, we swam the area and saw a multitude fish I hadn’t seen anywhere. I saw a trigger fish point it’s venomous barb at me, a shark-sucker without a shark, and droves of colorful fish. It was the most colorful dive yet, and it was a wonderful place to test my new camera.
Next, we snorkeled near a reef called Ginger Steps while another group finished their experiment. The area is notorious for sharks, but for better or worse, we didn’t find any. I did manage to dive 40 feet and retrieve a few sand dollars, however.
After a quick lunch, we dived near some coral nurseries to clean them. Armed with a steel toothbrush, I scrubbed algae and other undesirable organisms off the trees and even the coral itself. Seeing the tree cleaned was immensely satisfying, to say the least.
The day ended with frisbee and dinner of spaghetti on the beach as the sun set. It was another fun day in the BVI.