Day 13 – July 7, 2011
Sierra awoke to a bright sunny morning at the most beautiful place in the BVI, Monkey Point. After a great breakfast, the crew sat down for a lesson given by Meg on the basics of sharks and fish anatomy. Once that was completed, Perry showed up for water sports! Everyone jumped into Montauk except Xanthe and Graham who left in search of an area with coral propagation. Everyone went tubing with Perry including Meg who ended up yelling and screaming out songs with Chapman. Maddy even tried waterskiing for the first time and was able to get up! Once Sierra got back to Van Gogh, a surprise awaited them. The local conservationists had found a small hawksbill sea turtle that they wanted to show us. Leslie and Maddy were ecstatic to see the cute little turtle while the conservationists explained to all of us how to catch and tag a turtle properly and why it is important for the world’s oceans. The conservationists had another surprise for us as well; they had just speared 9 lionfish from a nearby area and gave two of them to us for dissection. Chapman and Tommy were very excited. After the conservationists left, Sierra got back into the water for a coral watch. Xanthe excelled at this as she dove down to help survey the corals in the area. The rest of the night was given to Sierra as free time, after a lesson that Laurie gave on sharks of course, and it was desperately needed. Everyone took the time to rest, read, and eventually fall asleep under the stars.
Day 14 – July 8, 2011
The Sierra crew awoke to a rainy morning today as they all began to prepare for their dives. Once on the dive boat, the crew took a trip over to The Maze, a site they had previously dove before on a night dive. Maddy and Leslie teamed up as they got ready to roll off the dive boat and into the water. Chapman and Xanthe likewise became dive buddies as they were excited to see this dive site during the day. Once they had descended, the group travelled through the topography of the reef while Meg took plenty of video and pictures. Although the visibility was a little poor because of the stormy weather the Sierra divers were able to still swim through two giant caverns as well as spot some beautiful sea critters such as a lettuce worm and a small green moray eel. On the surface, Graham helped the group back onto the boat where they all switched out their tanks and ate apples. Afterwards, Graham had an idea to explore a new dive site and to go where no one had gone before. Chapman and Maddy were stoked to hear that after mapping the site the Sierra crew would actually be able to name it! The group rolled back into the water, with SCUBA gear intact, ready for a dive of exploration and wonder. As the group descended into the unknown area, Leslie spotted a spotted moray eel under the rocks. The Sierra divers explored further as Xanthe pointed out a gigantic lobster that Graham was eyeing up for supper. As the group reached a swim through, Meg entered it and explored the area. When the crew surfaced Ria the divemaster picked them up from the waters. Back onboard Van Gogh the group named the new dive site Sierra Point.
Following the dive, Tommy took the helm and sailed us to Leverick’s Marina. The group grabbed their phones and called home once we arrived. At 5:30PM Leslie and Maddy started cooking dinner so that we could be ready for our 8:00PM Jumbee Party. The kids had a great time watching the local Jumbees, buying frozen virgin drinks, and listening to music off the boat!