Blog 5

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Today was the best day of the trip. We woke up at 6:40 and had the usual breakfast of cereal and muffins at Lime Cabin before we met Glen and he drove us to the docks, from there Ben actually let me drive us about 45 minutes away to a dive site located off of Salt Island. This site is home to the wreck of the RMS Rhone, the Rhone was a mail steamer that was turned into a first class passenger ship in 1860’s. It survived a bad storm in Europe and, like the Titanic, was dubbed “unsinkable”, as a result of this fame people wanted to take a trip on it. It was sailing through the Virgin Islands and a bad storm appeared out of no where, the captain attempted to navigate through the islands to avoid the storm but ended up getting thrown overboard by a wave. With no captain, the crew scrambled to save the ship but it was not successful, a wave crashed the Rhone against the rocks and it ended up sinking on October 29, 1867. Over 300 people died in the accident, only 1 passenger survived. After telling us about the Rhone Casey tried to scare us by telling us ghost stories about people feeling the hands of the dead passengers grab their fins as they swim by. Immediately after her ghost story everyone excitedly jumped in the water and we began our descent. Within a few minutes we began to start seeing rusted metal fragments on the sea floor and they led us to the ship remains almost 80 feet underwater. Beth gave us a tour around the outside of the bow section before we lined up single file to swim through the interior of the ship. As I entered I came eye to eye with a massive 6 foot long barracuda that was swimming around in the shadows inside the ship, I wanted to take a picture of it but I had the flash on and didn’t want to mess with the giant fish in the close quarters. As I exited the ship we swam around for a little bit before our group surfaced due to low air. We let the nitrogen leave our blood by hanging out on the Sea Monkey for 45 minutes before we dive again. When time was up everyone jumped back in the water to explore the stern section of the ship. Similarly to the first dive we had to swim to the wreck and saw metal fragments before we saw the ship section. On our way to the ship someone spotted a little Yellow Seahorse hanging out in the sand so we all stopped to see it and take pictures. After we all saw the seahorse Beth continued the tour, sowing us the mast, portholes, and even the captain’s dining set. Once again we all linked up single filed and followed Beth through another crack in the ship, when we all exited the gap Beth wrote “propeller” on her slate and pointed at where we just swam through. Unbelievably we just swam through the ships giant propellers. With everyone low on air once again we unfortunately had to leave the wreckage and surface for the day. When all groups reached the surface we packed our gear and Ben drove us to Cooper Island to have dinner at the Beach Club. I ordered Conch Fritters for lunch and quickly ate them when they were served. After lunch we didn’t leave Cooper Island but instead snorkeled around and looked at all of the cool marine life. I saw a turtle, tons of stingrays and fish, and even three barracudas. Clay, Cole, Trip, and I were all swimming when we saw two 5 foot barracudas hunting next to each other me, Cole and Clay all swam the other way but Trip had his GoPro and wanted the film them so he swam closer. We all watched as Trip approached the massive barracudas and then suddenly they turned towards him and one swam towards him, everyone swam away as fast as humanly possible and never went back to that area. When the snorkeling was over we all had a long boat ride back to the yacht club where Glen met us and took us back to Guavaberry so we could get ready for mass and the night snorkel. After a quick shower we all headed back down to get picked up by Glen and driven to mass, when mass was over everyone geared up for the night snorkel. It was led by Becca and Beth and they gave us a tour of the beach with flashlights. When they gave the signal everyone turned off their flashlights and we saw all of the bioluminescent species in the water. Unfortunately tomorrow is our last day here and the day of our final project presentations, my group is practically done with our project and all we have to do tomorrow is review. 

  • Jennifer Wheeler

    What a day!!