Day 2 started when we got up at about 6:30. We went over to our chaperones cabin and ate a breakfast of cereal, fruit, eggs and pastries. Afterwards, we headed to our the docks via the bus. We spilt up onto out respective boats and we each went to our first dive site. My group went to ginger hole first. We geared up and entered the water for our first experiment dive. My 3 group members (Jack, Jake, and Garrett) and I descended and swam to a spot to begin our experiment, which has to do with measuring the correlation between parrot fish and algae. We belive the more parrot fish there are, the less algae there will be. This is important because if algae overgrown, it can steal vital nutrients from coral, stunting the growth of these primary producers. We set up a 5×5 meter area with some markers once we arrived at our spot. Jack and I took some pictures of the algae to estimate the percent cover, while Jake and Garrett counted the parrot fish that passed through. While we were doing that, we got to see a lot of interesting fish up close including 3 reef sharks and and eagle Ray! After we finished out experiment(we only counted 1 parrot fish), we went back to the boat, ascended, and moved to our next dive site. We stayed on the boat for almost and hour, and swam around in the ocean while it rained for a couple minutes.
Later when the rain stopped, we got geared up and prepared for our second dive of the day. We went down and found another spot to record data on parrot fish. We set our markers as we did before and looked for parrot fish for ten minutes. This time we found seven parrot fish and less algae, supporting out hypothesis. When ten minutes had passed we collected the markers and our dive master, Zoltan, took us on a tour around the reef. We got to catch a glimpse of a green moray eel, and we saw a massive crab that was about 3 feet in diameter! Zoltan even killed a lion fish, an invasive species, with his harpoon.
After we ascended from our second dive, the capitan took us over to the other boat. We ate a lunch of sanwhiches, and then both boats went over to an island that had a salt pond in it. The pond was hot, brown, and solid salt on the bottom. We learned that the BVI had a large salt industry a few hundred years ago. In fact, it was very important because there were no salt mines in the Caribbean south of that point. However, the salt industry has since died out, and the island was abandoned today. After looking around the island for a while, we went back to virgin Guarda. We took the bus back to Guava berry to work on our project for a little bit.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to learning about the invertebrates that live in this ecosystem. We are going to look at invertebrate tanks that contain various organisms like sea urchins.