The trainees for this cruise consisted of alumni, parents, and friends of Tabor Academy. These people came on board in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., and experienced a similar route through these U.S. and British Virgins Islands that students will be taking later. While the program consisted of sail training and oceanography, it was not as rigorous as will be offered to students. The science observations on this cruise were mostly those of the science instructor as various snorkeling sites were investigated for possible later study.

Monday, January 15, 1996

1220 Hrs.
18' 18.655 N 64' 50.111 W
Observed a "Jack" leap from the water up to about three feet high and about ten feet in distance, just before current cut Great James Island.

1730 Hrs.

Crew spent two hours snorkeling the reef in Trunk Bay, St. John. The hard coral was mostly dead and silted over. The water visibility was eight feet at best. One large Elkhorn head was found alive but looked stressed. Many black Long-spined Sea Urchins were found wedged into small depressions. Small schools of Blue Tang, several Parrot fish, Yellow-tail Snapper, and Blue Chromis were observed. One Squirrel fish was found. The northeast wind together with the swell produced tough conditions but the group did very well.

2300 Hrs.

Sky is observed to be full of stars. Without the problem of light pollution, the sky has no empty spaces where there are no stars. The Milky Way is clearly visible. Also many birds are heard singing in the trees onshore. Plankton net is set for the night.

Tuesday, January 16, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 21.190 N 64' 46.259 W, Anchored Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy Air Temperature - 80' Water Temperature - 83'
Wind - 10 Kts. SSE , Relative Humidity - 84% Waves <1 Foot NE
Rain Gauge 2.07 inches
Plankton Net retrieved. Labeled Cruise 2, Sample 1

0840 Hrs.
Weighed anchor and proceeded with motor.

0930 Hrs.
18' 23.195 N 064' 42.271 W

Anchored Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. to clear customs. During the transit, crew observed and counted: five male and two female Magnificent Frigate Birds, and nineteen Brown Pelicans. Crew members also report hearing birds singing in the hills of St. John all night while on anchor watch.

1200 Hrs.
18' 22.125 N 064' 42.295 W
Weather : Sky - Partly Cloudy, Wind - 18-22 Kts. Air Temperature - 81'
Water Temperature - 83', Barometer - 30.00 ", Relative Humidity - 75%
Waves 1-2 feet SE

1230 Hrs.
18' 21.803 N 064' 41.177 W Sir Francis Drake Passage
School of fish jumping and splashing. Species not identified.

1600 Hrs.
18' 19.201 N 064' 37.397 W

Anchored in lee of Norman Island, legendary pirate haven and the inspiration for Treasure Island. Trainees split into four small groups with crew officer to lead. Each of these groups slowly snorkeled about and around the caves and coral reefs.
This is a much healthier reef than at Trunk Bay. Many healthy examples of typical Caribbean Hard and soft corals and associated fishes. Weaker swimmers had an enjoyable adventure as their skills and confidence improved.

Wednesday, January 17, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 27.555 N 064'; 31.851 W Trellis Bay, Beef Island, B.V.I.
Weather Sky - Partly Cloudy Air Temperature - 80' Water Temperature - 82'
Wind - 13-17 Kts. E, Barometer - 29.95", Relative Humidity - 82% Waves - < one foot E

1400 Hrs.

Trainees and crew explored "The Baths" on Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. Snorkeling here is excellent. Water is clear and warm with lush coral heads rising thirty to fifty feet from the bottom. The vertical zonation of healthy reef is clearly demonstrated at this site. Near the surface, Elkhorn corals extend their brown arms outward. Beneath are the large Brain and Star corals. Near the bottom are many form of soft corals and large sponges. Throughout this same vertical plunge, different kinds of fish are found at different levels. Near the surface are schools of trumpet fish feeding on the sparse plankton population. Among the corals are various Parrot fish biting on the corals creating loud clicking and crunching sounds. In the various cavities and feisty Damsel Fish and shy Squirrel Fish and Black-Barred Soldier Fish. Schooling around near Mid-water are Yellow-tail Snapper, Sergeant Majors, and Blue Tang. Near the bottom are small tarpon, Trunk Fish, and Grouper. This will make an excellent study site for students.

Thursday, January 18, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 29.997 N 064' 21.768 W North Sound, Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.
Weather : Sky - Clear, Wind - 22-25 Kts. E, Air Temperature - 81'
Water Temperature - 82', Barometer - 29.95", Relative Humidity - 74%
Rain Gauge - 0.03"
Plankton Net gathered, Labeled Cruise 2, Sample 2

Friday, January 19, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 42.7 N 064' 23.6 W Anegada, B.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy with squalls, Wind - 20-22 Kts. E
Air Temperature - 81', Water Temperature - 83', Relative Humidity - 84%
Barometer - 29.97", Rain Gauge - 0.02", Previous 24 Hrs Max/Min - 90'/80'

1300 Hrs.

Trainees and crew snorkeled reefs on the North side of Anegada in Loblolly Bay. Visibility was low due to silt stirred by six to eight foot breakers on the outside of the reef. In the lagoon the coral heads are suffering because of heavy silting and most are broken. There is a great deal of rubble and very few fish. This is not going to be a good place to study with students and so we will not bring them here.

Saturday, January 20, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 30.051 N 064' 21.766 W North Sound, Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy, Wind - 12-15 Kts. E, Air Temperature - 80'
Water Temperature - 82°ree;, Relative Humidity - 81%, Barometer - 29.97"
Previous 24 Hrs Max/Min - 90'/82', Rain Gauge - 0.09"

1000 Hrs.

Investigated the reefs in Savannah Bay on Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. In center of bay is a large patch of mostly soft corals, including fans, Gorgonia, and sea whips. Several large, well-formed sponges were seen also. Closer to shore were hard coral patches, not as lush as "The Baths" but still quite healthy. Many wonderful Brain and Star corals were observed with assorted reef fish which kept popping up from holes in the hard corals. This might make a good place for transect studies with students.

Sunday, January 21, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 24.996 N 064' 36.779 W Road Harbor, Tortola, B.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy, Wind - 18-20 Kts. E, Air Temperature - 81'
Water Temperature - 82', Barometer - 29.92", Relative Humidity - 74%
Rain Gauge - 0.02", Previous 24 Hrs Max/Min 80'/80'
1030 Hrs.
18' 20.150 N 064' 37.847 W "The Indians", B.V.I.

Snorkeled around rocks to determine suitability for bringing students here. Windward side was lush and healthy. Spotted a school of Creole Wrasse which are the first I've seen. Leeward side is interesting in that corals are attached directly to rock which is a vertical face at least thirty feet deep. Excellent example of stratification with small encrusting corals near top, changing to Gorgonia and sponges, followed by Brain corals and larger sponges on bottom.

1400 Hrs.

After anchoring, explored reefs in Canegarden Bay, Tortola, B.V.I. Found many fine soft corals in twenty-five to thirty feet and hard corals in five to ten feet. Fish population was healthy and diverse.

Monday, January 22, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 26.350 N 064' 45.112 W Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, B.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy, Wind 12-15 Kts. E, Air Temperature - 80'
Water Temperature - 82', Barometer - 29.98", Relative Humidity - 74%
Previous 24 Hrs Max/Min - 92'/80', Rain Gauge - Trace

1000 Hrs.

Explored reef in White Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, B.V.I. Corals have been seriously damaged here with Elkhorn Branches scattered over the bottom, Large Brain corals overturned, and Sea Fans and Gorgonia broken off and resting flat. The fish population shows little impact with many schools of Blue Tang, Surgeon Fish, and Parrot Fish. Scores of Damsel Fish have established new homes in the rubble of coral pieces. The coral community here has obviously been damaged by the recent Hurricane, but this would still make an excellent study site for our students in the next cruise.

Tuesday, January 23, 1996

0800 Hrs.
18' 20.388 N 064' 47.789 W Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I.
Weather: Sky - Partly Cloudy, Wind - 12-15 Kts. NE, Air Temperature - 80'
Water Temperature - 80', Relative Humidity - 75%, Barometer - 29.95"
Previous 24 Hrs Max/Min - 90'/82', Rain Gauge - 0.01"

1100 Hrs.
Anchored in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.


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