July 25 – The Mangoes were in charge of breakfast this morning. It consisted of cereal, yogurt, assorted bars, milk, honey buns, and cold garlic bread from the previous dinner. Sadly, no one ate the garlic bread. Afterwards, we went to the marina to prepare for our dives
Today, our first dive was at Mountain Peak. The Mangoes got in and began our decent. On the way, I saw a sting ray swimming on the outside of my vision. Our research area at this site truly proved why the area is called Mountain Peak. The bottom quickly descended almost 40 feet down into the open ocean, placing the majority of the area on top of a literal underwater mountain. The rest of the dive was mostly uneventful besides the unrelenting current pushing us away from the mountain.
Our next site was the Coral Gardens. The Coral Gardens is locally known for the plane stashed away on the bottom. Several years ago, the pilot of the plane realized his vehicle was too heavy to take off mid-take off, so he applied the brakes but could not stop before it flew off the runway into the water at the end. As Zoltan puts it, “some smart guy eventually got the idea that a crashed plane at the end of the runway was not good for marketing. So, they moved it to the Coral Gardens to no longer discourage flyers.” Also, the wings were taken off to prevent movement in the event of a hurricane.
However, Trip got a squeeze in his filling, so he could not join us on this dive. But, he watched from above while snorkeling.
After diving down with Nick and Tyler, we swam around the plane, going through it and chasing hundreds of Bar Jacks. Eventually, we went off to go complete our researching which went off without a hitch. Since there was only us three, we only did one area and just dove afterwards. We took pictures and observed the coral. Also, Nick and I arm wrestled on a large sandy bottom area. That was interesting underwater. Tyler and I also posed next to a giant fan Coral that was nearly as big as ourselves. In addition, while we were diving, a storm came over, and we got to watch the rain pelt the surface. Now that is insanely mesmerizing. Lastly, during our three minute-safety-stop, a four foot barracuda swam nearly 20 feet away from us looking for some food.
Credit to Mr. Marr and his @jcpmarinebjo twitter account
After a hearty lunch and a quick nap, the Annual Summer JCP BVI Olympic Competition Games (name needs work) began. The teams were split up by cabin/dive groups. We went through a series of challenges to complete fastest. The Mangoes got first in the bury your friends (I was the friend), last in sand pictionary, last in late to work, last in blind friend, and third in the final relay. We got first for effort in my mind however.
Then, we had a cookout served by the dive staff, which was surprisingly tasty since us Texans are snobs with cookout food.
Afterwards, we went on a night snorkel. I got to see a small spider crab crawling around in the crevice of a rock. Also, I saw two octopi change color to blend in with their surroundings, an extremely convincing disguise that I would not have notice just swimming by it. In addition, a group of twenty baby squids followed our