Sierra 1: 6-28-2011
Today was June 28th, 2011 and a great day on our teen sailing adventure. We had an early morning with a simple breakfast so that we could make it to the Caves of Norman Island. Before we took off, Graham gave a navigation lesson and then Xanthe took the helm. She motored us to The Caves which were just around the corner and the group jumped in ready to perform their first day of data collection while snorkeling. Their first task was to take an inventory of reef fish found in the area. Each student had a dive slate and began their data collection. The groups spotted many colorful fish, a sea turtle, and a spotted eagle ray. After about one hour in the water, we got back onto the boat and recorded the information the kids collected collected, which will be mailed by Laurie to the REEF foundation.
It was now time to sail to Cooper Island. Xanthe did a great job sailing the boat and everyone stepped up to make sure we got to the island safely. Once there, we had lunch and then went on a specimen collection mission. Laurie explained to the students what she wanted and the students were off. We found 2 queen conch, 1 flame helmet, a giant hermit crab, 2 fish, sponges and a sea star. Once all animals were on the boat, Laurie gave a lesson on the ecosystems in the BVI and paid close attention to sea grass beds.
Following her talk, she went over the importance and biology of the invertebrates collected. The last bit of curriculum that was covered was how to use a transect for data collection. After a brief discussion the students paired up (Maddy and Leslie; Meg and Xanthe; Chapman and Tommy) and took two surveys of the sea grasses surrounding us. We compared notes when they got back to the boat and then took ocean showers. We had an amazing dinner consisting of mahi mahi, rice and broccoli prepared by Tommy and Chapman and then made our way to shore. Today was Laurie’s 30th birthday so we decided to celebrate with brownies, virgin frozen drinks and a game of Apples to Apples! It was a great way to end a very busy day full of fun and learning!