Today started off bright at and early, 5:30 a.m. to be exact, as a result of one of the numerous chickens on the island. Breakfast began at roughly 7:15 and consisted of a hearty serving of Frosted Flakes and scrambled eggs. Soon after, the main man Glen picked us up in his whip and dashed us over to the dock where we began gearing up for the day of diving. After working out the kinks and scraping off the diving rust, we departed Virgin Gorda at roughly 9:15 and headed for the infamous “Dog” islands. With the nerves and excitement slightly building, we geared up and hopped in the water for our first dive at “George Dog” island. We practiced and reviewed some basic underwater skills then continued our dive with some free swimming. We then got back on the boat and headed over to “Great Dog” island to explore some deeper spots in an area known as the “chimney.” After this exhilarating dive, we headed back to Virgin Gorda to eat a delicious lunch of turkey and ham sandwiches. We then returned back to our “casas” to get cleaned up and discuss our research projects with our group members. From here, the Dive BVI staff discussed these projects with us and gave us the chance to make any final asjustments before our dives tomorrow. At 5:15, we hopped on the party bus with Glen and headed to the top of a small mountain to attend 5:30 Mass. After the service, we took group photos and headed back to the “wifi room” to eat some delicious lasagna served by the Dive BVI staff. From here, we headed to the beach to check out some large rocks and get a feel for where we’ll be doing some activities throughout the week. Finally, we headed back to the wifi area to discuss our great first days! Today I learned the basics of barrel sponges and also understood more about the marine life that I will be seeing throughout the week. I’m extremely excited for tomorrow’s research dives and I’m looking forward to pioneering Jesuit experiments with sponges.