Marine Bio 2: Aquatic Boogaloo; Day 4


Today’s breakfast was interesting, as me and the rest of house Lime Tree set the food out for the rest of Marine Bio. We prepared cereal, yogurt, honeybuns, and orange juice, all of which were lovingly prepared. We left for our final dives, the first if which was at the wreck of the RMS Rhone. Unfortunately, the current in the area was two strong, so we dived at another site, called Wreck Alley, instead. The site was made up of a set of ships that were intentionally sunk about twenty years ago. Despite the time elapsed, coral has just begun to grow on the hull of the ships. Due to the danger involved with nitrogen buildup, we were unable to go deep enough to swim through the wrecks themselves. I saw several stingrays, and I even got face to face with a pufferfish!Afterward, we returned to the Rhone. Before diving, we were briefed on the circumstances of the Rhome’s sinking while we waited for the current to lessen. Declared “unsinkable” in 1865, it ironically sunk in 1867. The story goes like this: during a particularly bad storm in the BVI, one that was the second most powerful ever recorded in the area, the RMS Rhone attempted to boat into open water, where it was safer. After guiding the ship for over two hours, Captain Willy believed that he must be far from the coastline by now. He did not know that waves had been pushing him back, and in reality he had barely moved at all, so he was quite surprised when someone in the crows nest spotted land through the waves. The good Captain left his room and onto the deck, when a huge wave knocked him overboard. Left without a leader, the crew panicked and the ship ran aground, causing the boiler to explode. Only one of the guests survived, because the rest where all strapped to their beds (this was a common practice at the time, as the crew did not want anyone wandering around the ship during a storm and hurting themselves). The one guest that did survive had a room near the boiler when it exploded, jettisoning him of the ship. The guest had also grown up in the Mediterranean, and unlike most people at the time, knew how to swim. Other the Captain Willy, the entire crew survived, because they were able to grab onto floating debris. During the dive, we saw the porthole of room 26 (the room of the surviving guest) and the teaspoon of the Captain himself. We also saw many huge fish hiding in the wreck itself, many flounder in the sand, and even a seahorse holding onto a piece of coral. As we began our ascent, we even saw a hawksbill sea turtle, a fitting end to our final dive of the trip.

We then proceeded to fill our empty stomachs at Cooper Island, a tropical resort with delicious food. I feasted on some fried conch an salad, and afterward treated myself to some delicious, but a bit overpriced, gelato. Reenergized, we snorkeled at a nearby seagrass bed. These fields are important because they provide shelter for many small fish, and are a distinct food source for green sea turtles. During the swim, we spotted more barracuda than I could count, and even a few stingrays!

I am currently looking forward to a delicious cookout on the beach for dinner, flowed by a night snorkel. I’ll type all about it tomorrow!