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Sail to Barbuda

Nov 17, 2011

Location: White sand beach, Barbuda
Author: Mate Jack
The day started at 0715, the usual waking hour. The first activity of the day for the crew was an oceanography class with scientist Laurie. After class was over it was all hands on deck to get the boat prepped for the 40 mile passage from Green Island To Barbuda. We rolled up the sail covers, lashed down all the loose objects on deck and by the time we had the main engine fired up, the boat and crew were ready to move it along. We motored out through the tricky reefs surrounding Green Island. Once Ocean Star had a little breathing room we put her into the wind, raised the mains’l, fores’l, stays’l, and jib. Pointing the ship’s head just off the wind, we tacked out into the Atlantic to clear the tricky shoals and currents that run along the East coast of Antigua. Watch team two, led by your author, started it out, handing the boat over to watch team three just before lunch with a squall bearing down from the east. Those among us who weren’t busy in the galley strapped into our foul weather gear and prepared to face the fury. Anyone in the crew hoping for a good story to tell the landlubbers back home was disappointed when the anticipated squall blew itself apart, leaving the crew of Ocean Star fully suited up to battle light winds and a gentle 15 minute sprinkle. The off-watch crew were stood down, which for watch team two (again that’s me) meant a midday snooze. Rocked to sleep by the Atlantic swell, I was woken up just in time for our arrival in Barbuda. Once again we went all hands on deck for a student led sail drop (Is it a good or a bad thing that they don’t need the staff anymore?) We (actually the students) led the anchor drop in 15 ft. of blue water just off one of Barbuda’s miles long, completely uninhabited, white sand beaches. The cherry on top? Double dose of learning after dinner; navigation with Capt. Kevin, and another oceanography with Laurie.