Foxtrot 3 Trip Update Day 6 – Graham Benton, Program Director
The Foxtrot fleet awoke to a beautiful morning at Nanny Cay, with the sun slowly rising over the palm trees and warming up the wooden planks of the docks. After eating a breakfast of eggs and english muffins, we all had some time to visit the marina’s shops, and buy souvenirs for friends and family back home.
After returning to their boats, the fleet began to make the necessary preparations to leave docks. Every student was given a specific task – catching lines, fending, spotting, or working the helm – to help guide Van Gogh and Da Vinci out of the slips, past the breakwall, and out into the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Once underway, we set our sails and made our way around Beef Island towards Trellis Bay. Trellis Bay is one of the largest mooring fields in the BVI and is well known for its extensive seagrass beds and the sea turtles that they attract. We arrived in time to meet up with the dive boat Endeavor, which took Discover SCUBA, Open Water, and Advanced Open Water divers for a spectacular dive on Diamond and Platinum Reefs.
When the students came home to their boats, it was time for dinner preparations and showers. After dinner was all cleaned up, the marine biology instructors presented a lesson on the Indo-Pacific Lionfish. Lionfish have become an invasive species in many parts of the world, including the Caribbean, and pose a threat to nearly all of the native species of fish found in the BVI. In order to learn about the lionfish’s internal anatomy, students were given the opportunity to participate in a dissection of real lionfish that had been collected from the reefs a few days before. We found the remains of small fish and shrimp in their stomachs, confirming that they had consumed a large number of fish in only a few short days.
When we had cleaned up after the dissection, the crews gathered for their daily boat meetings and then headed off to bed. Another long and exciting day!