Archive: January 2014

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Today began with a lengthy but enjoyable sail up Sir Francis Drake Channel from Norman Island to The Baths at the southwest tip of Virgin Gorda.  At one point, our track took us past Peter Island and into some larger Caribbean seas.  The port watch took advantage of the schooner’s plunging bow to do some “foredeck jumping,” which means jumping in the air when the bow rises to a wave.  If timed correctly, it is possible to get very high…

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It was sunny morning, and we looked forward to another fun day of sailing.  After breakfast, we motored the short distance from Francis Bay to West End, Tortola to clear customs into the British Virgin Islands.  Once those formalities were behind us we set sail for Sandy Cay, an uninhabited islet off Jost van Dyke popular for its beautiful white sand beach and many coconut palms. The sail was short, but we had a good breeze while getting our first…

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by Olivia and Julia Before getting underway for the first time, the crew briefed us on safety equipment and then spent some time “teaching us the ropes” so we could help raise sail.  Once the anchor was up, the students coiled down the halyards but also had the opportunity to sit in the head rig while sailing through Pillsbury Sound and the waters to the north of St. John.  Ms. Lovely showed us how to get the fluorometer going to…

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by Alex and Sven At 3AM, normal high school students dread the thought of interrupting their nightly slumber, especially during the cold winters in Marion, MA.  But on this particular Monday morning a group of 13 eager Tabor students, led by the charismatic Rick DaSilva, met at the flagpole with hearts full of anticipation. After a bus ride of birthday songs and hopeful foreshadowing, the group boarded the plane and took off before the sun could get its morning coffee.  Along…

Hawksnest Bay

The second cruise of the 2014 Caribbean Studies Program is now finished and, in total, the students have logged the location and health of over 800 coral in Hawksnest Bay, St. John, USVI.   During the last week, students worked their way south along the eastern shore, finishing with a densely populated patch reef off the beach at the southern end of the bay.  This is next to the two patch reefs mapped by Cruise One and completed our mapping of…

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This was the last day of research – only one reef to go. However, this would be the largest patch reef we would have to log. All four groups were placed around the reef’s perimeter. Two of the groups began near the same spot close to the beach; one moved clockwise along the edge while the other moved counter-clockwise. The other two groups started at the point farthest from the shore and likewise moved in opposite directions. When each group’s…

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