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Winding Our Way to the Pink(ish) Sands of Barbuda

Nov 17, 2013


Location: Green Island, Antigua to Barbuda
Author: Nick
Ocean Star arose to some chilled tunes from France in the form of Daft Punk, and the gallic atmosphere continued with some beautiful pastries expertly prepared by Aylee and Ivy. Marine Biology after breakfast covered the twists and turns of estuaries, the constantly changing environment and the marine organisms which inhabit them. Parts of the class seemed very apt as we navigated our way between the interconnected network of reefs surrounding Green Island on our journey towards Barbuda. Brooke was in the crows nest, I was on the bow sprit, Shayna was messenger to Kris at the helm and the rest of the crew were standing by, poised, waiting for instructions. We moved serenely between the reefs and out to safe water where we could relax and enjoy the bright sunshine and the gentle roll of the ocean. We took advantage of the passage to brush up on our navigational skills for MTE as Kris tasked us with figuring out what time we were expected to arrive in Barbuda by giving us a few choice bits of information: starting point, end point and the length of Ocean Star. After splitting into 4 groups and deliberating the problem in front of us, all groups came upon the same solution–to estimate our speed by dropping something (orange peel) overboard from the bow and timing how long it took to reach the stern, therefore getting the speed. We could then plot our positions on the chart to measure the distance traveled and from this information we could work out the time it would take us to make it to Barbuda. A well-deserved lunch followed the problem solving, and this was followed by splitting into watch teams to oversee the remainder of the motor/sail. For those of us not on watch it was difficult to stay awake with a belly full of sandwiches and the sun on our faces. The journey itself was relatively smooth, despite going upwind the whole way, and we arrived at our anchorage in Barbuda at 1630 (Brooke, Bridget and James being the winning team for the ETA), with enough time to cover the sails, shower in the remaining light and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the water and an equally beautiful moon rising over Barbuda as we tucked into dinner.