July 16 Blog Post

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July 16

Today we woke at 6:40 this morning and went to lime cabin for breakfast. I had Frosted Flakes, a bagel, and a chocolate muffin. After that, we went to the boats to go dive at the wreckage of the R.M.S. Rhone. They briefed us on the depth, the surface current and told us the layout of the wreck. Our first dive was the deeper dive and we went about 75-80 feet deep. We swam through a portion of the hull and saw an extremely large barracuda. It was well over five feet long and had enormous teeth. We also saw some small grouper and a ball of bait fish before exiting. We proceeded to swim around the wreck, looking at the specific parts of the ship that is scattered all over. The ship was 300 feet long and 40 feet wide, so there is large pieces of the wreck scattered all over. Swimming around, we saw an octopus and porcupine fish. We returned to the surface for a surface interval, during which, Casey told us the story of the sinking. After a night of partying, the passengers on the cruise ship went to bed. Meanwhile, the crew saw a change in barometric pressure, but she night sky was clear so they took little heed of the change. In the morning, it changed even further, and the lookout in the crows nest saw storm clouds on the horizon, so they decided to go once the passengers awoke. But as the weather worsened, they decided it couldn’t wait and made to raise anchor; however, the anchor was stuck on the reef and after attempting to unhook it, it broke, whether intentionally cut or due to the stress no one knows, but they couldn’t seek shelter in the cove of Roadtown without the anchor so they made to sail out to sea and ride the storm out. The rain was intense and, the bridge being in the middle of the 300 foot ship, the captain, Captain Wooly, was unable to see the bow or stern. His lookout warned of land ahead and the captain went out to look, but was washed overboard. The boat hit the rocks and the passengers, having been locked in their rooms were all killed but the one residing in room 26. We rubbed the porthole in room 26 for good luck and swam under the propellers and then swam around the ship. While swimming, we saw a seahorse about six inches tall, well camouflaged in the dark green coral and a turtle swimming around. We went to the front of the ship and swam under it as well, then saw a famous teaspoon that supposedly belonged to the captain. We also saw the black and white tiles, in remarkably good condition, used on the boat. We then went to cooper island and I ate conch fritters at the cooper island beach club. I had never had conch fritters before and was happy they were so good. After that, we went to the boutique store and I bought vanilla ice cream. We rested on the deck outside the boutique for about 30 minutes before returning to the boats to go snorkeling right off the beach. We instantly saw a turtle and later many barracudas and sting rays. The group that I was in saw two barracudas over five feet and followed them until one of them turned around, scaring us all and making us back away. We then proceeded to follow them again with the same conclusion before returning to the boats. We went back to our cabins and showered for mass. Mass was at a church on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the harbor, and Julian and Clay did readings. It was over rather quickly and we returned to our cabins to get swimsuits and snorkel gear for a night snorkel after dinner. Dinner was hotdogs and hamburgers, I had two hotdogs and a hamburger. Our dive leader, Beth, had made cupcakes for us all and they were delicious. A little while after dessert, we got our snorkel gear on and went snorkeling in our little cove. I saw a tarpon, we all saw squid, parrotfish, an octopus, and a spotted moray eel. When we blocked the light from our flashlights, we were able to see the bioluminescence of the phytoplankton when we disturbed the water. 

  • bkirbyjcp

    Killian,

    Awesome description of the story and your experience – sounds like the dives were fun! Congrats on catching the turtle…not too many people can say they have done that.

    Enjoy the rest of the week!
    Dr. Kirby

    • Kristi Kerr Leonard

      This turtle is famous in our family! Dawson Leonard! These young men are so very blessed to have this experience. We are so grateful to the teachers and staff.