Location: Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Today our itinerary consisted of a short science hike, Open Water divers-in-training finishing their last classes and confined dives, and an overview of our academic courses. The day began with a French toast breakfast. Then we hiked from Savannah Bay (on the leeward side of Virgin Gorda) over a narrow strip of land to the windward side. The hike was very interesting; it was amazing to see the differences between the leeward and windward sides. Due to wind and wave action, the windward side had no sand, just large boulders, and rocky outcroppings. It also had a much larger surf. This was in stark contrast to the leeward side, which looks like the typical Caribbean beach, with white sand and calm surf.

Once we returned to the boat, the Open Water diver trainees watched their final PADI video and discussed important diving concepts with Matty. After that, we all sat down for lunch, pita bread with chicken and Mediterranean salads. Then the dive trainees completed their confined dives, in which they proved that they have the skills necessary to be recreational divers. They all passed, and tomorrow they move on to open water practice dives on coral reefs. I’ve been certified previously, so another certified diver and I descended under Ocean Star to get some practice with underwater navigation. During our dive, we saw a surprising amount of life, considering there are no living reefs nearby. We saw a stingray, parrotfish, snails, other reef-dwelling fish, and a shrimp. We had a nice pork chop dinner, and then we ended the evening with an overview of our four academic classes.