This morning, we started our day at the Lime cabin for breakfast. Afterwards, we gathered our scuba gear and went to the taxi. At the marina, we set up our dive gear and headed out onto the water. Andrew felt up to diving today, so he was also with us. We arrived at the site of the RMS Rhone, the ship that went down in 1867. Everyone died except for the 22 crew(minus the captain) and 1 passenger. Unfortunately, the current was too high at the time, so we decided to venture over to another dive site, Ginger Steps, which is the dive site that we dove yesterday.
At Ginger Steps, we saw a lot of cool fish. At the very beginning, we saw two huge lobsters. Zach and I watched one come out of his hole and crawl along the coral. Later, we saw another reef shark swimming around us. At about the same time, we saw a large barracuda hanging out under some coral. There was a very strong current against us when we were swimming back to the boat, tiring our legs. During our safety stop, Andrew and I saw a Rock Beauty, our favorite type of Angelfish. We then ascended, switched tanks, and returned to the Rhone.
During our surface interval, Casey told us the story of how the Rhone sank. The boat was an old cruise ship, christened as “Unsinkable” after it didn’t crash during a storm off of the coast of England. In 1867, the Rhone was caught in a storm in the middle of the BVIs. The captain ventured outside of his control room and he was washed off of the boat by a wave, the first fatality of the storm. During the high winds, the Rhone was pushed onto rocks, and the engine exploded, obliterating a section of the ship. The stern sunk immediately, drowning all of the poor passengers who were tied to their beds. Then, within 10 minutes, the bow sunk, killing all passengers except for one, and all of the crew escaped. After the storm, the islanders on the nearby island gathered all of the materials that were lost and sent them to the Queen of England, who gave them residency and allowed them to only pay 1 pound of salt for taxes, a deal that is still used today. We also talked about why sinking ships can be good and bad for the environment. They can be good because they can provide shelter for fish as well as a coral reef, but it can be bad if it destroys living coral reefs.
We began our dive around the bow as the stern had too much of a current. At the beginning of the dive, we saw a sea turtle, as well as a huge barracuda. We swam through a part of the bow and saw a huge horse-eyed Jack. Afterwards, we rubbed a silver spoon from the wreck, rubbed the porthole of the escaped passenger’s cabin, and we saw a huge gray angelfish. Then, we saw a snapper that was almost as long as I am tall. It was chasing another snapper that would usually be considered large. Ben said that it was the largest that he had ever seen.
Then, we went to Cooper Island for lunch. I had delicious conch fritters and fries. Afterwards, we got gelato in an island shop. When our food comas were almost over, we went snorkeling in a seagrass bed next to the beach at Cooper Island. We saw several squid in a squad, something I had never seen before. We also spotted a tarpon and a stingray, as well as several sea anemones.
Now, we have been relaxing in the commissary and Internet room for a few hours. We are about to have a cookout on the beach, and then we will do our night snorkel. I hope we see some octopi.