Location: Summer's Beach, Tortola
Today we awoke to the sounds of “Oh Canada!” in honor of Canada Day and our Canadian staff member, Cayley. After we finished as much of the song as we could remember, the chefs started on breakfast: scrambled eggs and poppyseed muffins with lemon glaze. After breakfast, we cleaned up and the Dolphins on our boat prepared for a dive to collect data for their research projects. While the Dolphins did this, the Neptunes on our boat went wakeboarding and waterskiing. After the dive, the chefs prepared lunch, tortilla soup with grated cheese and plenty of saltine crackers. After cleaning up from lunch, we prepared for turtle tagging. As the name might hint, turtle tagging requires a great deal of effort and complex dinghy driving skills. This issue is not necessarily the tagging but the catching of the turtle in the first place. To catch the turtle, three dinghies dragged behind them, with four shipmates in each. Each shipmate was armed with a snorkel, mask, and fins, and scanned the water for turtles. We followed this routine for two hours with no luck. Finally, we returned to our boats disappointed. Luckily, as we prepared to sail out, we heard yells from the bow, “A turtle! A turtle!” Several splashes later, Charter rose to the surface holding a small hawksbill turtle. We brought it to the stern of the boat and sat it on the table. We collected the tagging information and examined its characteristics. It was an incredible feeling after so much work to see the turtle sitting in front of us. Overall it was a VERY good day.