Sierra 2 Trip Update Day 8 – Graham, Program Director
Sierra had a jam-packed day of diving, snorkeling, and marine science! It began when Sail Caribbean Divers met us in Savannah Bay for two morning dives at the Dog Islands. The first site, the Flinstones, students say a huge sting ray, beautiful coral-covered underwater boulders, and some even think a reef shark. At the second site, Joe’s Cave, students had a chance to swim into an underwater grotto lit only by a thin opening in the rock above. The divers also performed a reef check, examining the health of the coral by measuring the color of different coral patches.
Then it was back to Berlin and Geneve for a lesson on fish types followed by a dissection! We learned about agnatha, chondrichthyes, and osteichtyes, and dissected a few lionfish, learning about the anatomy of fish as we went. After cleaning up from the dissection we hopped in the water for a Project AWARE reef fish ID.
Then it was shower time and dinner prep. We had a delicious meal of fish and chicken tacos cooked by Jenna. After the meal, the staff cleaned up so the kids had some time to hang out on the bow before the Coral Cake Competition. Each boat was given to cakes which they had to decorate to look like coral. Berlin whipped up an inspired fire coral creation, shaping the cake into a branching structure with multicolored icing, while Geneve decorated their cake to look like a healthy coral reef and a damaged reef. Both crews had a great time designing and preparing their creations!
Tonight we saw a slightly wilder side of the islands, as a squall passed over nearby Tortola. As we shared sea stories and drifted off to sleep listening to the rumble of thunder and watching the silhouette of the islands appear every few seconds from a distant flash of lightning, it was hard to imagine anywhere else in the world than the British Virgin Islands. We’re looking forward to a fun-filled day at the famous Bitter End Yacht Club tomorrow!