The last two days have been very eventful. Yesterday was our travel day to Virgin Gorda. My day started at 3:30am and ended at 11:30, a solid twenty-hour day. The first flight we embarked on was from Dallas to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a long flight lasting nearly five hours and what made it worse was I forgot earbuds, so I could not listen to the awesome airplane playlist I had created the night before. Upon arrival into San Juan, we immediately went to he gate in which we would be spending the next six hours. Me, Daniel Redell, Mike Ponder, and Ryan Davis all ate a mediocre club sandwich and fries at the Margaritaville Air Bar. The next four hours were spent playing cards and exploring the San Juan Airport. Finally, we left for Tortola at 7pm on a small rickety old jet that made me nervous about wether it could actually fly or not. The old plane made it though after a short thirty minute flight. We then proceeded through customs and met up with Casey McNutt, and her husband plus Mr. Von and took a boat to Virgin Gorda. We ate delicious pizza on the boat and were split up into cabins. I was put into Plum Cabin, along with Josh Marshall, Ryan Davis, Jim Hayden, Killian Leonard, and a Nick Wheeler, Plum cabin is by far the G.O.A.T(Greatest of all Time). After reaching our cabin, we all fell asleep and the twenty hour day finally came to a close.
Day 2 began at 6:20, to the loud sound of a rooster in the distant. I slept well and the rest was much needed. Glenn, our personal taxi driver (fancy, right?) picked us up at 7:15 and took us to breakfast at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Club. Breakfast was delicious, and I enjoyed a nice cheese omelet with sausage and toast, but the highlight of my breakfast was the coffee, which I downed like water. It was so delicious and was exactly what I needed to wake up. After breakfast Casey introduced us to the rest of the BVI Dive Staff, it was very cool to meet them since they all come from different backgrounds, from Australia to Hungary. After meeting the five staff, we then found out which boats we would be on during the week and who our dive leader was. My group of Garrett Scott, Ryan David, and Jack Watson is led by Zoltan, a big Hungarian man, who is also the boat driver for Sea Dragon, one of the two boats used by Dive BVI. The other is Sea Monkey, but Sea Dragon out classes its counterpart and is by far the better boat. After the introductions were over, we got on on the boat, set up our gear and headed to our first dive spot, Bronco Billy at George Dog Island. Interesting fact about the Dog Islands, they were named by Columbus and his crew, because when they sailed by the heard what they thought were Wild Dogs barking but in actuality they were the extinct Caribbean Monk Seals. Our first dive was just a refers her dive, to get used to the water and go over the skills we learned in our certification process. The dive was smooth and we saw various Parrot Fish, Tangs, squirrel fish, and even a Spotted Moray. After finishing our dive, we went to our next dive site, The World Famous Chimney at Great Dog Island. This dive was so cool. The coral was abundant and there were forests of Staghorn and Elkhorn coral. Along the dive we went through many crevices, and through many arches. The marine animals we encountered were abundant, we saw parrot fish, squirrel fish, tangs, various kinds of angelfish, a Porgie, Crevice Cleaning Crabs, and my favorite Reef Squid. The Reef Squid were very neat because I had never seen anything like it before and I was able to get very close to the pretty creatures. After this dive, our scuba diving was done for the day and we headed back to the harbor and then back to our cabins for lunch. Casey provided us with sandwich stuff and we ate on the beach and enjoyed the beautiful views that Virgin Gorda offers. After eating, me and a couple other guys got our snorkel and fins and went out and looked at the coral reefs off the shore of the beach. The one animal that stood out the most too me when snorkeling was the massive Black Sea Urchins, which were kind of scary. After exploring the waters off the beach, we were lead by a couple of Dive BVI staff members on a snorkel trip to the Baths, a super famous geological structure on the coast of Virgin Gorda. The Baths are a bunch of granite boulders that were created by tectonic plates when the islands were created and also by erosion. They got their name because during the Atlantic Slave Trade, the Virgin Islands were a main market for the slave trade, and after the long journey from Africa, the slaves were able to take baths and clean up in the water at the rocks, thus they got their name of the Baths. This geological structure was amazing and also humbling. After exploring the Baths, we took a long snorkel back to the beach and went back to our cabins to clean up for dinner. I have now caught up with time and right now at this moment of the day I am waiting for dinner and writing this blog. I know dinner is soft chicken tacos, and I’m looking forward to the food. I’ll check back in tomorrow, after what is hopefully another great day in the BVI.