Great Harbor on Peter Island is a beautiful place. Large and deep, it is surrounded by lush green hills and rocky shoreline. We woke in this beautiful place around 7:00 a.m. in order to prepare ourselves for the long day ahead. Though we would be very busy and learn a lot, we would not go further than but a couple of nautical miles down wind to Little Harbor on Peter. After we finished our breakfast, we hurried to clean it up and get ready for our dive. Today, we all went diving together! The Open Water students were completely certified by the time we returned, and Ezra and Zach — who already are certified — simply had a fun dive along with some of the Foxtrot students. Our first dive was on the beautiful Randy’s Reef. This site is known for its huge maze of coral heads that wrap around the northern edge of Peter Island. Kristen, Jen and Luca spotted a huge spiny lobster, a local favorite! After we all made it back on the dive boat, finished out dive logs and gorged ourselves on oranges and apples, we headed off to our second dive location, Black Forest. Black Forest is named for its abundant, yet rare, black coral. This is a soft coral that looks much like other sea plumes except for its polyp structure and its black color.
When we returned from the dive we made lunch, ate, and headed out to Little Harbor. This cove is secluded and quiet, a beautiful location. Its gently sloping sandy bottom and crystal clear water make it a great place for getting into the water and exploring the underwater world. This was also the first place that we dropped anchor! We planted our anchor and headed into the cockpit in order to have our lesson, which introduced the British Virgin Islands and tropical marine ecosystems. We discussed the unique conditions that exist in the BVI and why tropical water is so clear and warm! It gave us a good foundation for understanding the more specific environments and the organisms in them. Then, we jumped in the water to make some observations on the information we where talking about. When we all got back, dinner was prepared as a group effort and promptly consumed as such. Boat Meeting followed with a vicious game of Uno…a day well used if I might say so.