Location: Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Another early morning today saw us on our way out of Summers Beach at around 7:00 AM to take to the high seas for a short ride. After some mid-morning watersports at Brewers Bay, the Dolphins set off on a quest for sea turtles to tag, measure, and release back into the ocean while the Neptunes continued skiing around the point. We lined up behind a dinghy and held tight as a rope towed us along in order to cover more reef. Unfortunately, our mission was unsuccessful, but what was a turtle safari quickly turned into a snorkel over a beautiful shallow coral reef nearer to shore. After recombobulating back on Tropicool (and discovering some oddly handprint-shaped sunburns), we rafted with another boat and geared up for a fun dive with the Neptunes and the Dolphins’ first research dive! Over the last few days, the Dolphins had split up into a few groups, and each posed a question to be the topic of some more science-oriented dives later in the program. Tropicool’s Dolphins set out to look deeper into the effect of Tunicates on reef biodiversity and nutrient flow through sponges. After getting a little distracted by passing octopuses, baby trunkfish, and parrotfish, we surfaced with plenty of data to process on the way to our mooring site. The day threw us one more surprise, though, when we were told we would put our Hibiclens to use in our fresh water showers! Fresh out of the shower, we stopped briefly in port to refill on freshwater before chowing down on some delicious housemade Thai Curry and throwing an impromptu dance party on Tropicool’s rear deck.