Location: Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda
The day started in Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, with hot oatmeal and a golden sunrise. After breakfast, a long day of sailing was underway. The first stop was Road Town, Tortola. As the boat bumped, bounced, and lurched along, some students worked on learning their night diving skills from their manuals while others took naps below deck. It was late morning when we made port, and some got off to get COVID tests while the rest deep-cleaned the boat. After a long afternoon of working and waiting, we had a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or, if you’re our captain, Jack, or our Diving instructor, Javi, a “ranch-wich,” a simple dollop of ranch between two bread slices), and set sail once again. The passage was long, windy, and rough, and most students relaxed on deck and tried to avoid seasickness. A handful of adventure-seekers enjoyed the gnarly wind and spray of the sea on the bow. Nearly four hours later, we anchored at Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda, where we reviewed our night diving skills and donned our snorkels. Following a standard procedure for night dive planning, we scouted the site without scuba gear first to get a navigational sense for the area we would need later. Students free-dived to the reef below and found sea turtles, reef fish, and plenty of sea jellies. As day turned to night, we headed back to the boat, turned up the music, set up our tanks, weights, BCDs, lights, and regulators, cracked glow-sticks, and hopped in the water once again for the very first-night dive of ActionQuest 2021. We saw lobsters, tube worms, and even a squid! It was the first-night diving experience for many of us, but the cheers, whoops, and cries that broke the silence of the night following the dive made it clear that we all had a day worth remembering.