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Dec 8, 2010


Location: Virgin Gorda, BVI
Author: Zane Almquist
After our impromptu departure from Saba yesterday evening we enjoyed our last night passage. We arrived in the British Virgin Islands early in the morning. We started the day off with a BA, provisioning, and clearing into the country. After lunch we motored to a new site to do some diving. We split into groups to complete our navigation dive for our advanced open water certifications. It turned out to truly be a navigation dive, because as soon as we descended, our vision was obscured with billowing clouds of silt and sand. At one point I could touch my buddy, but just barely see her. A number of problems arose due to this poor visibility. The first and perhaps most important being we had no idea where anyone (including ourselves) was in the water. Buddy pairs literally ran into each other causing our surface buoy tow lines to get tangled. I can only imagine what it looked like from above as we swam around trying to detangle ourselves. It is, I think, slightly ironic that this dive was supposed to highlight our skills as underwater navigators. Fortunately, after surfacing and working things out, we descended again to a shallower depth and were able to complete the skills. Learning from our mistakes, the second group of divers had much more initial success. Tomorrow we have our MTE navigation final, which people have been preparing and practicing for in their spare time today. The next few days look very full as we finish up our academic work and diving certifications while enjoying our new locations.