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Classes, Anchoring, and Night Diving

Jul 29, 2009


Location: Les Saintes
Author: Elise Russell
Today started out intensely academic, and it is ending even more academically. This morning, we began with some refreshing French bread for breakfast (ironic, considering our location in the French Saints), followed immediately by Oceanography class, followed immediately by Seamanship class. In Oceanography, we absorbed an exciting dose of wind and current physics, with the result that we can now, as a neat party trick, explain everything from the Gulf Stream to the mid-ocean plastic trash islands. The subject was also relevant to our next class, in which Al regaled us with the theory and practical calculations of the tides. After a long grapple with power point slides, whiteboard graphs, and practice problems, we all managed to grasp the mathematics involved. After these exciting classes, some of us headed in to shore for another dose of baguettes, croissants, and ice cream, while others elected to remain on board and save their money and their waistlines. We also returned with a new dish bucket, to replace the one that broke and fell over the side the other evening and was so daringly rescued from Davy Jones’ locker by Trisha’s quick action. Our afternoon was taken up by moving a short motor away, around a part of the island to another place called Pain du Sucre, which I am told means “little sugar bun.” Here we performed a complicated anchoring maneuver by backing up against the shore and tying a stern rope around a boulder while securing our bow with two anchors. Parking the boat against this sugar bun took perhaps three times as long as traveling to it, but was definitely full of excitement, education, and heroic tying of bowline knots under pressure. After a relaxed afternoon and a magnificent dinner of chicken breasts with ham, cheese, and sauted onions (kudos to our chefs Mike and Nick), the SCUBA divers all went on a night dive around the boat. They reported back with such fantastic sights as color-changing reef squid and octopi! Now, with everybody back on board, we are all diligently writing our Oceanography literature review essays, which are due in a little over 24 jam-packed hours. Good luck everybody!andlt;hr width=’100’/andgt;andlt;div align=’center’andgt;andlt;tableandgt;andlt;trandgt;andlt;tdandgt;andlt;