Day 3 on the island


Today started off by waking up at 6:30 and eating breakfast in the Mango cabin. After breakfast was over, we headed down to the wifi room for a quick introduction and presentation of turtles and turtle tagging by Dr. Shannon Gore. We learned the migration patterns of sea turtles, such as where they are born, where they mate, and where they give birth, but there are a few years known as the “lost years” where no scientist has been able to track the migration pattern of turtle because it travels great distances for long periods of time. After the wonderful presentation we left for the marina, but this time both groups did not get on the boats to go dive; instead, we split up into two groups where one group would go turtle tagging and the other would go to Savannah Bay and study the different invertebrates that are in the BVI. My group was the first to look for invertebrates, I snorkeled alongside Clay Walters and we discovered some interesting things like lettuce slugs and a squid. Clay and I both agreed that we wanted to see a squid shoot ink, since we have only heard of it and never seen it in person, so Clay swam behind the squid while I swam down on top of it, and sure enough a small cloud of black ink came rushing out of it as it shot across the ocean floor. We almost missed the squid because it was camouflaging itself against a piece of coral, but luckily I saw him move a little. We swam back to the shore where Casey had a couple sea urchins, a starfish, a fire worm and a few other invertebrates in boxes so that we could take a closer look at them. Casey showed us how a fire worm uses its beard like needles that can be injected into your skin and cause a severe burning sensation. There were some small ball like things called sea pearls that are single felled organisms and hold fresh water in them, they were easily recognizable because they looked like shiny green grapes floating around. We then went to lunch at the yacht club restaurant where I shared a cheeseburger with a rooster that kept walking under my chair. Next, it was the Sea Dragon’s turn to catch a turtle, so we left the marina for Little Dix bay. As soon as we pulled up to the docks, we saw a turtle off the side of the boat and as soon as one person hit the water, the race was on and the turtle was gone. I decided to chase it down regardless of if I would see it or not. Believe it or not, I found it! But unfortunately it found the deeper water before I or anyone around me could get a hand on it. We then swam back and forth in the bay looking for any turtles or anyone flailing like they saw one. I got back on the boat to look around the bay for any dark spots that could possibly be a turtle. I got pretty good at spotting turtles because I saw more on the boat than I did when I was actually swimming around. But when I was swimming and found a turtle, I tried to call guys over to help me distract the turtle while someone grabbed its shell, but that plan was always foiled by someone who wanted to go kamikaze and ended up scaring them away. Eventually they got a hang of it and let the instructor try to catch one, and just as soon as he got in the water, he came out with a turtle. We took the turtle on board the boat so that Dr. Gore could write down the data of the turtle. The turtle that we found was originally found in 2004 and most recently caught sometime earlier this year. We all got a picture with the turtle then let it go because it was extremely angry that we were messing with it. After getting off the boat we went back to the cabins to prepare for the world famous cabin games. Team Jasmine came into the games with such high expectations but lost terribly in the water balloon and relay races. But what we lacked in athletic ability, we made up in brains when we pulled a landslide victory in the pictionary game. We ended up taking third overall in the points challenge, so we still medaled which is all that counts in our book. Even though we lost first in the games, we got to eat earlier at dinner, which was an amazing lasagna cooked by Casey.