Location: Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda
We woke up this morning to heavy rains and cloudy skies. It was a slow morning on the boat and it wasn’t until 8 am that we finally dragged ourselves from our beds. We spent the first few hours of the morning relaxing in the saloon, cooking pancakes and listening to Jack Johnson. After our filling breakfast, we hunkered down and began to watch some educational videos on plastic and it’s impact on the ocean and the species within it. Something that I retained from the videos is that it would take tens of thousands of years to generally rid the ocean of all it’s plastics. After a long discussion about how we as individuals can help prevent the pollution of our oceans, we began to put on bathing suits and sunscreen to prepare for our day. We grabbed our snorkel gear and headed out on the dinghies towards the reef. Our mission was to locate lionfish and to successfully remove them from the reefs. We had learned beforehand that lionfish are an invasive species and that they have no natural predators. This means that they have the capability to eat whatever they want without the fear of being eaten. Entire reefs can be affected and destroyed because of one single lionfish. To protect these reefs, we need to remove the lionfishes from wherever we find them. On our first snorkel trip, we didn’t find a fish and our mission ended unsuccessfully. We returned to our boats and got on our PFDs because we were relocating farther down the coast for the night. It was my turn to be skipper today and I had the opportunity to steer the boat. It was a lot more difficult than I expected. Nevertheless, we made it to the harbor in one piece. Immediately when we got to the harbor and dropped our anchor, we got ready to go back on the dinghies to go snorkeling for some more lionfish. This time we were lucky. We located a lionfish just off the coat of Mountain Point and brought it back to the boat. Later tonight, we are going to do a dissection on the fish to better understand the species. Other than that, we ended up coming back to the boat, swimming around for a little and then eating a dinner of pasta. Overall, today was a day of many activities and aspects. We all had an amazing time and grew to learn more about our environment and how to take care of it.