Location: Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.
Waking up today was a process, at least for me, but the crew got going after about four loaves of French toast. The day commenced with a prerequisite dive video. Then, we split up, with advanced divers going for a refresher dive while the not-so-experienced divers went for a hike. The hike took us across the island from the leeward to the windward side, providing an interesting contrast between the terrain and ecosystems in a windy or windless environment. We scrambled and clambered along the seashore, picking up crabs and snails for examination. We treated them carefully so that we would not make it what could be one of the worst experiences of their lives. Afterward, we regrouped for a quick sandwich lunch before switching activities. The advanced divers went for the same hike we had just come back from while the inexperienced divers took our first dive. We donned our gear, which fought at every opportunity, and jumped in. The first breath underwater was quite a novel experience. We worked through various dive skills underwater, practicing losing our masks and respirators. Fish were plentiful, much more so than in the desolate New England waters. After the dive, we returned to the boat for swimming and cooking, followed by a dinner of pasta with meat sauce. In the evening, we held our first science class, where we picked midterm and final oceanography projects. Well-steamed from the humidity and heat, we retired to our bunks for some needed sleep before sailing out of Savannah Bay tomorrow.