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Somewhere Under the Sea

Sep 24, 2016

Location: Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Author: Joshua. D
The day began early. The crew was awakened at nigh dawn to lift anchor for Mountain Point, our next destination. The sun rose to greet a cloudless sky and calm ocean. The brief, yet still thrilling, voyage to Mountain Point was smooth. Morning meal was eaten underway to allow maximum time for the day’s activities. We reached the destination and anchored for a day of scuba training.
The focus of the day was diving, during which the PADI open water divers in training along with the already certified divers had the chance to explore the new dive site and fine tune their diving skills. The weather was ideal for diving; the water was calm and warm, perfect for skills practice. There was time to explore the beautiful reef, where they saw dozens of fish and marine fauna, including two big nurse sharks. Some of the crew also had the chance to learn how to drive one of the dinghies while the other members of the crew were diving. The end of the day was met with ocean showers and chicken alfredo with salad and garlic bread, followed by the first academic class of the semester with the Captain.
The Day We Walk on Land Once Again

Sep 23, 2016

Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Author: Julia. A
Today was the first day we woke up without being covered in sweat, which is always a good thing! Everyone was greeted by a beautiful morning, as has been the case so far, though getting up was a bit more difficult since some of us had done our first shift of anchor watch during the night. We ate crepes and fruit for breakfast, after which the PADI open water divers in training did more of their confined water dives off the boat. The advanced divers also had a chance to get their feet wet during their check out dive. Some of us were treated to a quick storm to rinse off the salt water, and open water divers escaped by hopping back in for more skills practice. After lunch we had chicken noodle soup, which was perfect since everyone was exhausted and starving from a long morning of diving. With full bellies, we gathered in the saloon to learn the last of our PADI open water diving skills (dive tables!).
Post-dive table practice we loaded into the dinghies and went to the nearby sandy beach, something we hadn’t experienced since starting the voyage. Once there, we walked along the beach looking for interesting objects. Between the twelve of us we found crab carcasses, small pieces of coral, and bits of trash. A ten-minute hike to the other side of the island resulted in our arrival at a beach vastly different from the first. We were now on the windward side of the island, as opposed to where we started on the leeward side, which had large rocks and low-lying shrubbery as well as much more wave action. Again, we walked around looking for interesting objects and were surprised to find a very different collection of items including large chunks of coral, shells and driftwood. Interestingly enough, the vast difference between these two beaches is simply due to how wind hits each side of the island.
Day 9 – “The Invasion of the Robot Merpeople”

Sep 23, 2016

Location: Porto Azzurro, Elba, Italy
Author: Hana. R
Today (had to put that in italics because we’re in Italy, haha)we awoke to a beautiful sunrise and the smell of bacon radiating through the salon. After breakfast, the Open Water divers went on their first scuba lesson!! For many, it was their first time breathing underwater. Scuba diving is the closest thing we have to experiencing new worlds within our world. The diver feels weightless and can observe an entirely different way of life on our planet. The Earth is 70% water so scuba diving allows us to fully appreciate and experience our lil blue blob floating around in space. After lunch, the rescue divers jumped in the water and the advanced divers went over some theory and had the chance to go to shore. A couple of the crew members hiked to the cross at the top of the mountain range in Elba. Meanwhile, the rescue divers went over different methods to help a struggling diver. Our fearless dive instructor, Steve, was a great victim and ensured our confidence in making safe rescues. After rinsing off the gear we ate dinner and watched the sunset. We held hands as we discussed what animal we would want to ride into battle. This has been such an amazing journey thus far. We are learning so much and having many new experiences daily. It might be cheesy, but I can’t help but think of a quote from a very wise man…
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”-Ghandi
I think being apart of Seamester really embodies his message. Thank you to all of those who have made this experience possible!
Day 8 – “Elbowing Our Way Into Elba”

Sep 22, 2016

Location: Elba, Italy
Author: Danielle. P
Argo arrived in Elba, Italy this morning after a night underway. Watch team 1 saw a pod of dolphins swim along side the bow of the boat during their sunrise watch. While watch team 2 anchored and packed up the vessel, the rest of us had a little time to sleep in. We woke, cleaned the deck, took down the sails and pulled out our dive equipment from the Laz. Lunch was Caprese sandwiches. After an afternoon of dive theory for Open Water and Rescue divers, we enjoyed a swim and stuffed veggies for dinner! After dinner, we had a lecture on plate tectonics where we had a brownie demonstration with the added benefit of eating the brownies afterward. Tomorrow the open water students will have their first dive here in Elba and the other students will have shore time. We are all excited to dive into the next couple of days in this quaint town on the water!

This Air Tastes Funny!

Sep 22, 2016

Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Author: Roger. L
The sun rose and met an ocean of glass and a cloudless sky, in which Ocean Stars reflection could be seen staring back at her. The crew awoke to a simply delicious breakfast of yogurt, fruit and bagels, gaining the vital fuel for the day ahead of them.
Today’s goals were to practice setting anchor, learn to hoist the sails, and to see if we could catch any wind. The crew learned basic line skills such as sweating a line (not the same type of sweating they’d already done in the morning hours). They practiced tying knots learned the day before, slowly but surely perfecting them. In the late morning, the captain took the boat off the morning ball and we were on our way. The crew removed the covers from the sails and hoisted them up. Because of the lack of wind, the motor was used to bring us into Savanna Bay.
Upon arriving in Savanna Bay, the crew worked hard to put everything in its place. The new divers in training worked on skills for their PADI open water diver course. Dive gear was assembled and loaded into the dinghies and they were off! Their first time underwater was spent learning and practicing the first set of confined water skills. Everyone surfaced with sun kissed faces and big smiles could be seen. Tales of the largest urchins they had ever seen could be heard across the water.