Blog Entry: 8 July, 2016


On our itinerary, today was marked “fun day.” It was certainly labeled appropriately, as we experienced all sorts of adventure and amusement, like diving on shipwrecks and snorkeling on turtle grass. Originally, the plan was to do two dives on the wreckage of the R.M.S Rhone, which sank in a hurricane on 29 October, 1867. Unfortunately, the current at that spot was too strong, so we travelled to a site known as wreck alley, comprised of four intentionally sunken boats. On this dive, we reached a maximum depth of 80 feet, and observed the ecosystem that had developed on the artificial reef over just twenty years. The reef housed fish such as dog snapper, hogfish (my sister’s favorite), spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, horse eye jacks, great barracudas, and queen angelfish. For the second dive, we were able to explore the wreck of the Rhone, which had been split into four pieces due to an explosion when it sunk. Because the ship’s bow rests in water too deep for our skill level, we only dove around the stern, which was bursting at the seams with aquatic life. On the Rhone, we saw another eagle ray, two sea turtles (including a hawksbill), a massive cubera snapper, two large gray angelfish, a rock beauty angelfish, a cero mackerel, and a tiny peacock flounder. For lunch, we traveled to the Cooper Island beach club, where we ate conch fritters and saw the upper class white American in its vacationing grounds. After lunch, we snorkeled in a turtle grass bed not far from the beach club, which housed sand tilefish, barracudas, a single large trunkfish, southern stingrays, ballyhoo, and queen conchs, but interestingly enough, no turtles. Unfortunately, the night snorkel will have to be reflected upon in tomorrow’s entry on account of it taking place immediately after dinner, which I’m told will be a cookout on the beach.