Get This Show on the Ocean - Page 2

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FINDING THE CENTER

I woke up the next morning at 6:30 and realized that it would be the first day we start out in our groups. My group made a dive at Savannah Bay to observe marine life, while Neptune brushed up on navigation skills. We watched fish and how they react to other life forms. I don't think I have ever observed this – it's quite funny, actually. Fish have quite a character. It was an eye-opener for me and got me thinking about each dive with a much different perspective.

After lunch the Dolphins headed to shore for a hike to focus on ecosystems. We walked up and down the beach picking up some interesting things, then brought them back to the group and talked about them.

We got to explore a little, and I climbed up to a high rock right on the ocean and played with snails. That used to be my favorite thing to do when I was young, and I just embraced the moment and wondered how these tiny little snails planted themselves upon these sharp rocks.      

When everyone headed back to the boat, Emma and I decided to stay on the beach and swim while talking about home and experiences. This is when I think I finally felt comfortable being on the trip, because I was starting to settle in with the people around me and build relationships. There's always going to be a moment when you can finally let your guard down and open up, and this was mine.

TIME FOR OUR WEEKLY BATH

We woke up early the next day for a trip to the most famous site in the BVIs: the Baths, where beautiful granite boulders line the coast of Virgin Gorda. It's known to be one of the world's most gorgeous beaches. They call this area the Baths because slavers brought the slaves who survived the long trip over to the British Virgin Islands to bathe here before they were sold.

When we were approaching we could see the rocks from miles away, and they were simply breathtaking. It looked like a scene from The Beach. We anchored and started to explore. Chaz, Shawn, Emma, Anne, my bro Casey and I all decided to do some climbing and kind of got stuck, but we eventually made it down. Later I met up with Sam and Emma to chill in one of the pools beneath the rocks.

Right before we had to leave Shawn and I found a crazy passage that brought us to the top of a rock, and we could see over the entire area. It was stunning.

We were all pretty tired, but when we got back to the boat we realized it was only 9 o'clock!

REAL FOOD AT SPANISH TOWN

We found out the next morning that we were going to Spanish Town. It had only been six days, but all the guys had been talking about was hamburgers and meat. I was hoping this trip to town would keep them quiet.

Emma and I hit a little Internet shop at the marina for a few minutes and used the phones to call home. We also went to the grocery store to buy some Jell-O and stopped by the restaurant to watch the guys indulge like carnivores.

That evening we were scheduled to do our first night dive at Mountain Point. I was really stoked – we all were! We jumped into the pitch-black ocean, turned on our lights and descended. We hung out for three minutes with no lights on so we could see bioluminescence, which is always fun. And we got a surprise when we turned on the lights – a cute squid was just cruising by us.

There's always a little flashing light tied to the line of the boat so you can find your way back when you're diving at night, but when we ascended we realized we were at our ActionQuest neighbors' boat; they were doing a dive and had their light on, too. We borrowed their dinghy to go back to our boat. Chaz started a new trend when we were getting on the dinghy. He would scream, "Can I get a NATOOOOO?" and then everyone would go, "NATOOOOOOOO." This was only the beginning of the NATOOOOs.

We'd had a very long day, but it was probably one of my favorites. It wasn't hard to fall asleep that night.

JOHN-O AND THE CHIMNEY    

The next day was the Chimney dive with our skipper, John-O (a name made up by Chaz). The Chimney has an unusual underwater structure: There's a short passage with multicolored sponges growing on the walls, and little air bubbles floating along the side eventually make their way up to give a sort of chimney look from the surface.

Next we motored over to Coral Gardens where we saw a wicked plane wreck. It was in the middle of just sand, which was very cool – it was like the ocean made a special spot for this plane. There was a cute moray eel coming out of a hole in the plane, and there were tons of Christmas tree worms.

After that dive we headed on over to Long Bay, where my group discussed underwater naturalist diving.

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Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, Autograph Collection

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