Today was the fifth day of our trip and the last day of scuba diving. Today we planned to fist scuba dive to the Rhone, and then do some snorkeling in the afternoon and at night. We stared our day with the usual routine of breakfast, taking the shuttle to the boat, and then loading it up for diving. When we arrived at the dive site, I noticed that it was right next to “salt island” which we had visited a few days ago. The ship was about 80 feet down at the bottom of the ocean. Most of the groups were finish with the project so we got to relax and take some cool photos. We first descended to an area where the depth was about 40-50 feet. We then swam down to the shipwreck with the help of our dive master. The shipwreck was very interesting. There were more fish at this reef than any other reef than we had visited thus far. At one point we got to go inside part of the ship. There was a school of probably over 200 fish and a barracuda swimming inside too! We exited the ship and swam around some other parts of it. After we started to run low on air, we ascended to the surface. During the surface interval, the crew told us a bit about the history of the boat. I learned that It sunk in 1860 after the ships chain broke and it had to head for open water during a hurricane. The captain got washed overboard by a wave and the ship ran into some rocks. When the cold water from the sea met the hot coal engines, a massive explosion ensued. Standard procedure at that time had been to tie the passengers to their beds to prevent injury during the storm. Unfortunately, this meant that only one of the 150-300 passengers was able to survive. All 22 crew members had been on deck at the time of the explosion, and were able to get to shore safely. After the history briefing, we changed tanks and went back into the water again, this time to another part of the boat. We continued to explore and we got to see many more fish. I even got to see a seahorse up close!
Later after the dives we went to cooper island for lunch. We ate at a restaurant there and after playing in the water for a little while, we went over to an area with some Sea grass to snorkel for about 45 minutes. I got to see another sea turtle and a few more Barracudas. Afterwards, we jumped back on the boat and headed back to virgin Gorda. We all took showers an put on clean cloths for mass. The church was on the top of a hill with a gorgeous view. We all took pictures after the service. We then took the shuttle back to the beach and ate hamburgers for dinner and prepared for out night snorkel. We were all given waterproof flashlights and taught how to use them so that we would not scare away marine life. Our night snorkel was quite interesting. I got to see a squid and some people even caught a glimpse of a tiny octopus. We then returned to our cabins.
Tomorrow we have a service project and then present the findings from our projects. I think our group is ready for the presentation. From what we have found, our hypothesis was partially supported, but there were some interesting things that happened that we hadn’t predicted.