Location: Ladder Bay, Saba

Hello parents and other avid readers,

Today we did a whole lot of stuff so sit down and buckle up for this novel of a blog- if you’re like my mom pours a full cup of coffee or if you’re like Kylie’s parents pause the news cause we are going for a ride.

The day started with normal wake ups by yours truly, which means as I woke people up at 7 am, they all just groaned and rolled over to their other side as if that would press pause on the start of the day. Then, once we finally emerged, we had a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese (thanks to another session of “cooking with Kyle”). After breakfast and clean up, most of us retreated to the salon to prepare for finals. We currently have two papers and the navigational exam due right after the passage to Antigua. Oh, and we had Alex’s last oceanography lecture!!!!! I cried, but it wasn’t for the reasons you would think, it was because it was the end of this life-altering module. After study time (which was mostly us procrastinating and a little more crying for me) we had lunch. A hardy meal of tuna melts to fuel us for our two upcoming dives with Sea Saba.

At 1 pm sharp, I had everyone on deck ready to be shuttled to the Sea Saba dive boat per scheduled, but we forgot to take into account island time on our schedule, so Sea Saba came at 2:30. However, some of us found that out the hard way when we got in the dinghy at 1 and followed the wrong Sea Saba boat going full speed ahead. After some much-needed clarification from the Sea Saba boat about what was happening, Alex turned the dinghy around, tail between his legs. Once Sea Saba did finally arrive we were 200% ready to go.

After a wavy entrance onto the Sea Saba boat, we kitted up and headed to the dive site. Most of us opted to sit front row on the bow (as pictured). While we all got splashed, Claire had it the roughest because she lost her rash guard to the sea (also pictured). Our first dive was breathtaking as we circled a little underwater coral mountain. We saw turtles, eels, tons of reef fish, lobsters, baby fish, and a stingray. There was a shark in the first dive that I swam 3 ft from but never saw… I think its a conspiracy theory created by Alex to trick me though…

After that first dive, we hopped back onto the dive boat and headed to the next dive site. While waiting for our surface interval to end, we all sat around having snacks. Its become a new favorite activity for someone to yell Matt’s name, and then everyone else yells his name as well, so we sound the birds from Finding Nemo saying “mine.” Once we were kitted up and ready to descend for our second dive I quickly asked our dive guide how he felt about us underwater wrestling… he said it was fine, but he did not know what he was allowing us to do.

Once we hit bottom about 60 feet down, we stuck our hands in the sand to feel the warmth from the volcanic activity below. This is the only time it is okay to stick your hands into warm yellow sand (or snow). Then, we swam around a bit weaving in and out of corals when we all made a new friend, Nacho. Nacho is the shark in the seventh picture who decided to swim with us the rest of the dive. Then came the wrestling. I know what your thinking as concerned parents, my child should not be wrestling underwater. But we do play, and it is some of the most fun we have when we dive. Towards the last 15 mins of the dive it begins with playful bops on the nose and then turns into full-on wrestling, especially between Kylie and I. We thrash around in the water pulling on each other attempting to bop each other and prevent the other person from bopping you (you can ask your child for an explanation on what bopping is). After leaving the water and getting our stuff together, we headed back to Ocean Star. We had dinner and then headed down to the salon for a Marine Biology class. Thankfully, Steve took it easy on us and showed a riveting documentary rather than doing a full lecture. Finally, tired as ever we headed to bed.