Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island, BVI
The day was earlier for some crew members compared to others. As dawn started to peer over the horizon around 6AM, Ocean Star was finishing her Round Rock Passage with watch teams 3 and 1 on deck. The two watch teams dropped sails and the vessel anchored near Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, BVI. At 7AM, the rest of the crew woke up for their morning duties and we ate bowls of cereal. Following breakfast, we went and enjoyed the rest of our morning at The Baths. After spending the morning swimming, hiking, and jumping off rocks, the crew came back for some delicious pasta salad prepared by Stephanie and Wallace. Once lunch was completed, Ocean Star motored over to Salt Island, BVI. On the way over, Marina told us the story of the dive sight and how it got its name. The RMS Rhone was built in 1865 in England, and in the summer of 1867, the Rhone was transporting mail between Tortola and England when a hurricane hit the British Virgin Islands. As the Royal Navy deemed the Rhone unsinkable, passengers from a neighboring ship were transferred to the Rhone. The storm was worse than expected and the captain decided to move from Great Harbor, Peter Island to wait out the storm in open sea. He navigated the waters between Peter Island and Salt Island, careful to avoid a shallow area known as Blonde Rock. Just as the Rhone was passing close by the shores of Salt Island, the second half of the storm struck the islands and the Rhone was forced onto the rocks. The cold water hit her hot boilers and she exploded, taking all but 27 crew with her. Today the Rhone sits in four main sections and is both a marine park and one of the BVI’s most popular dive sites.
The Rhone dive went excellently for all three groups. Some saw giant schools of fish, while others ( myself included ) saw a shark. YES, MOM I SWAM WITH A SHARK AND I’M STILL ALIVE. Once all the crew was back onboard the boat, Smudge then motored us to Road Town for propane so we could have enough to get us through the rest of our trip. We sent Marina and Eric on the adventure of finding the propane as the rest of us drifted around in the harbor admiring all of the vessels that went by. After they returned, Ocean Star then motored over to Great Harbor, Peter Island. That’s right, Ocean Star is back in the BVI everyone. Blonde hair, tan skin and skilled sailors!
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