Day 2 on the island


Today started off with breakfast at the “almighty” Doc Gruninger’s cabin. I knew today was going to be a good one after I had a cup of coffee and some eggs. We got on the boats and made our way out to Ginger Island for our first project dive. Bryce Ozier, Clay Walters and I swam around the bottom looking for a patch of staghorn coral which we collectively agreed to use for our project. At the location, we marked off an area in the sand where we would use as our control, and as we suspected, there were no fish that came anywhere close to the area. We left the frontside of Ginger Island and headed to the backside to finish our project dives for the day. Before we even got in the water, we were blind-sided by what seemed like a monsoon, but instead of seeking shelter in the boat, we all jumped into the water. Why did would someone do this’s you may ask? We did this because the rain was freezing and it seemed like a great idea to go snorkeling in the rain, and the warm water was an added bonus. after the rain had stopped, we dove to a depth of 20ft looking for an area that had staghorn and elkhorn coral within the same parameters. When observing the area from above, I could have switched to my snorkel because I was so close to the surface. That snorkel would have been pretty exciting because there were two predators in the area sneaking up on our group, one was a four foot long barracuda and the other was Doc Gruninger lurking on the surface. We finished the dive with plenty of air to spend and all the data in the world that we could use for our project! Since it was lunchtime, we packed up everything and made our way over to the other boat that was finishing up their dive off of Cooper island. We then proceeded to eat sandwiches and having flipping, diving, and bellyflop competitions, where anyone who actually tried to do a bellyflop, lost, and you can imagine why. We finished lunch and got introduced to Salt island, where there was an active salt mining pond many years ago. We walked up a small trail to the top of the hill on the island, and when we got to the top, we experienced one of the best views of the surrounding islands. We left Salt island and arrived back at virgin Gorda where we were struck once again by one of the BVI’s tropical storms. Then we went to the cabins and met with our dive groups to discuss how our project’s progress was going and to compile all of the data that we collected today into a format that we could present. Day 2 was a success, and I have the sunburn to prove it!