Time seems to go very quickly when you are learning about fish! Things have been fast paced and full of excitement! Today we woke up and had some time for shops and to roam around the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor. At 10:30 we de-docked the boats and sailed over the Marina Cay, a beautiful little island with a mooring field and surrounding reef. Here we prepared and enjoyed our lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
Since our program focuses on marine science, we took the time that we saved in the morning from our short travel time and used it to explore the banks of the Beef Island Cut. This is the small gap of water that separates Tortola and Beef Island. This cut is lined on both sides by the thickest forest of mangroves that can easily be accessed by boat. This forest houses a huge array of invertebrates such as fighting conch, giant hermit crabs and arrow crabs. For example, a shrimp was found living in an anemone, which was attached to a conch. An animal living on an animal that is living on an animal! Everyone got to go snorkeling together, then headed back to the boats around 4:30 p.m. to start dinner and prepare for the night dive!
Some people opted to rest for the evening, so only five people went on the night dive: Ellie, Elley, Mark, Jeremy and Ember. The divers spotted a rare puffer fish, all the nocturnal corals that emerge after the sun sets, and a moray eel! Four others including Sarah C., Sarah G., Katie and Trevor went on a 25 minute dive led by Kyle. They saw an unidentified octopus, a giant ray feeding, and a strange looking, unidentified puffer fish! All in all, a good day!!
Tomorrow we are off to Monkey Point, a beautiful place for sure!! Stay tuned.