Sierra 2 Trip Update Day 13 – Graham, Program Director
This morning was lazy. We woke up at 8 a.m. in order to sleep off the long night dive the evening before. When we woke up, we had breakfast and a few minutes to spend looking in the shops one last time before we all had to be back to boats. When our provisioning arrived at 9:00 a.m. it was a group effort that led to its successful and timely storage. After all this was done and all the crew were readied, it was time to go sailing! Berlin was off the dock first followed quickly by Geneve. When both the boats were off the dock we sailed down wind, practicing our jibbing, and made our way through the Thatch Island Cut, rounding on to a beam reach toward Jost Van Dyke.
As we dropped sails and headed into the mooring field, we were on the lookout for turtles, of which we saw many. While they are endangered, there is a good amount of turtles in some places in the British Virgin Islands, and Diamond Cay is one of them. The topic of discussion for today’s lesson was squids and their relatives. We learned all the different parts of a squid and other Cephalopods. After about 20 minutes of lesson time we all headed back to the cockpit of Geneve and dissected squids. As we gently cut the mantle of the squid, we found the pen, ink sack, and stomach, as well as a great deal of eggs (most females have eggs the majority of their lives).
When we were all done, we had the opportunity for a quick, exploratory snorkel during which we found some amazing starfish, West Indian Sea Eggs, Southern Stingrays and yes, a few very large turtles! Shane was the one who got closest to a large Green Turtle, touching the carapace with his hand. We continued back to Geneve before heading home in order to play a high stakes game of Jeopardy between the boats in order to review the material we learned. Berlin won, but it was a very close game with only a 100 point difference. The evening was fairly relaxing, with breakfast for dinner and boat meeting. Tomorrow will be an early day, so to bed we shall go!