Location: MA

Hello avid blog readers, or to the newcomers- welcome,
Living on a boat for 46 days is a crazy phenomenon that I never expected to experience. But oh boy, I am so glad that I got to do it. I didnt think that I would be home for Easter, but happy early Easter everybody. Anyhow, I decided that for this momentous blog, I will enlighten you with a mashup of the snorkeling where some of my favorite memories from the trip occurred.

The Tobago Cays was the bluest and clearest water I have ever seen in my life. The day that we went snorkeling was a memory I will have with me for a long while. The adventure started when we all went overboard, I mean jumped, off our favorite home away from home. Our giant strides into the water were glorious, as we all followed one by one sporting our masks and fins. Cameras were an added benefit, and for those who didnt have one, I am sure that I took enough pictures for everyone that day.

We all followed behind our fearless leader, Lolo, as she held tight to the dive flag that we all needed to stay near. I was stoked to go swimming and see the creatures in the water, but something had gone awry! My snorkel was having a dysfunction and would not let me inhale! I became upset with this ordeal because it had to happen at the most inconvenient time. Although Amanda and I could not find a way to fix my snorkel, I decided that I would tough it out and not use it. Even though this seemed to put a damper on the event, I soon did not regret turning back to the ship because seconds later, Amanda spotted a spotted eagle ray! It was so amazing to see all the wild creatures that day, from green sea turtles to yellowtail damselfish. I think that the daytime snorkel was amazing, but doing it at nighttime was another crazy experience.

We did plan on doing a night snorkel at the Tobago Cays, but the conditions were a bit sketchy. So, when we were in St. Lucia, we were pretty anxious to be able to partake in this mysterious event. When the day came, or should I say night, Amanda warned us that there might be too strong of a current to be able to do it that night. However, she tested out the water near Ocean Star, and near the shore, and decided that strong swimmers would be able to partake. As many of our classmates stayed down below working on assignments, Isabel, Tye, Faith, Kenz, and I were very excited and suited up. We all went overboard, you know what I mean, and swam out in the dark with nothing but our torches (flashlights) giving us light. Now I would also like to inform you that my snorkel was no longer having difficulties after I had rinsed it with fresh water following the Tobago Cays snorkel, but I digress.

Our snorkel was led by Amanda, who graciously pointed out all sorts of fun creatures, including flamingo tongues, basket stars, baby lionfish, and even a parrotfish asleep in its mucus cocoon (they do this to protect themselves from parasites). I learned that snorkeling with a marine biologist is the way that you can win at life. Our group even came across a shrimp, which was the strangest sight. It was amazing to see how it swims in the water, and just how tiny they are. When our snorkel was coming to an end, we got to see if there was any bioluminescence present. We all covered our torches and waved our hands violently under the water. Sure enough, the dinoflagellates were out tonight and lit up in the water like fireworks. This was the most exciting thing to me, as I just kept freaking out about how cool these plankton were!

We swam back to the boat, and everyone was chucking up their fins when I decided to look down at the drop off that we were moored on. As I looked down, I saw a large orange blob approach me, and I began to retreat but then noticed some familiar-looking creatures. About five tiny squids emerged and swam towards my mask as I began filming and started to yell, LITTLE SQUIDS! I did get Tye and Amandas attention as the invertebrates dove once more into darkness.

These excursions were only a couple of eventful days that we spent about the boat. I could honestly go on and on about my experiences, the friends that turned into family, and the mentors that I will have throughout my life. However, all good things must come to an end. In addition, I am trying to write a blog post, not a novel. To complete this edition, I will share with you a haiku that I wrote eight years ago.

Living on a boat.
Sunlight! It is what warms me.
The ocean rocks me to sleep.

Like I said before, I never expected to spend a portion of my life aboard a sailboat, but somehow eight years ago, I predicted it. Everything happens for a reason. I will leave you with that my friends.

Until next time,
Kasey Zaleski

1. Ill catch you on the flip side. (Shoutout to Tye and Rob for teaching me how to backflip fearlessly).
2. What it looks like before you do a giant stride
3. A promotional picture for Sea|mester to use, with me and a new friend in Tobago Cays
4. Some of the crew snorkeling
5. Gus, Marin, Faith, and Tye taking a break from snorkeling
6. Selfie of Kenz and I
7. Tye doing some free diving during the night snorkel
8. The shrimp that we found, featuring Faiths hand!
10. Our crew for squeeze tonight