written by Social Media Coordinator, Ryan Smith
August 9, 2018
As a fleet, we awoke at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island, ready to take on the day. Breakfast came early as we had to fuel ourselves up in time for our Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Recreational divers could leave for an early morning underwater adventure (our OW divers still working diligently towards their first level of certification!). The rest of the non-diving crews transferred onto one of our two student catamarans, Moselle, to sail together to Little Harbour, Peter Island for the day.
Underway, we continued practicing our sailing terminology and skills so that we could increase our comfortability at any role on the team during maneuvers. The skipper of the day lead each execution, and did so with hesitance at the beginning of the voyage, but was beaming in direction-giving by the end of the 3-hour sail. A new maneuver we learned was a jibe, as our sail was downwind today. The most important aspect to jibing is safety and something that we paid special attention to as beginners to the skill.
Once we arrived at the picturesque destination of peaceful and intimate turquoise waters of all shades, we prepped and gobbled down a lunch of greek pitas before sitting down to a sea turtle lesson by Sail Caribbean’s Marine Science Director Oliver Bierman-Lytle and one of our marine science mates Meredith Davies. During the lesson, we gained a deeper appreciation for sea turtles and their background information, as well as what threats they face here in the BVIs. These threats are what caused the local fisheries department to induct the BVI Sea Turtle Programme into their local efforts and how Sail Caribbean got involved with turtle tagging in the area. We spent roughly 2 hours snorkeling for sea turtles but unfortunately, the four that we spotted were too fast for our students to properly catch today. Thankfully, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to continue our turtling in the coming days as well.
In the evening, our students regrouped around dinnertime on their home boats to enjoy a meal together before sitting down to a lesson on bio-luminescence and night adaptations. This lesson was to lead us into the night snorkel we were about to take part in! As we entered the water, we saw the neatest sights of underwater creatures and biolume using our dive lights to lead the way.
All night snorkeled out, our crews later reconvened at their nightly boat meeting where we discussed the high’s and low’s of the day and prepared ourselves with the schedule for tomorrow. It wasn’t long before our eyes became heavy from all the day’s activities and we slumbered off to our sleeping quarters to power down for the night.