Location: Caid's Reef
The day started early, with our head chef Tenley whipping up some “thick crepes or thin pancakes” (her words) with chia seeds for breakfast. We’d anchored at Caid’s Reef late last night so we could spend the full day here diving, so after breakfast had (rather quickly) disappeared, we split up into groups. The first group (Sam, Marley, Caroline, Kelsey, Miriam, Aurora, Maddie, and I) headed out shortly after in the dinghies, scuba gear in tow. The reef itself was magnificent: coral as far as the eye could see filled to the brim with fish of every color, shape, and size imaginable. Some of the highlights of that first dive were the massive lobster we saw peering out at us from a cave, the schools of juvenile damselfish, and the eagle ray we saw jump out of the water on our way in! After 40 glorious minutes, the air in our tanks were running low, so we surfaced to find the dinghies nowhere in sight. It turns out the current had pulled them away (or us away from them, perhaps) while we’d been under, but we didn’t know that at the time. All we could see were the waves, the sky, and the ungodly amount of seaweed floating on the surface. Eventually, we found our way back to the dinghies and returned to Ocean Star, tired and happy.
The second group (virtually everyone else, I believe) set out after a light lunch (sandwiches). Now, it’s up for debate, but this group believes their dive was far superior to ours. And yes, they saw more rays and even a shark (the only one anyone saw, sadly), but I still reckon ours was pretty darn good nonetheless. Anyway, they got back mid-afternoon, and we all gathered for our final seamanship theory lesson down in the Saloon. Then, accompanied by Zac, the faceless CPR dummy, we dove right into the exam for the seamanship certificate. I’m not certain how well any of us did, but I do know we all got question 35 right. Emergency sandwiches, am I right? Three stars.
It’s after dinner now. We’ve polished off the pasta, enjoyed the sunset, and have tried to ascertain each other’s Hogwarts houses with mixed results. Maddie, Caroline, Jay, Kasey, and Mckenzie are heading out for our first night dive in the same spot the earlier two took place. The day is winding down, the magnificent spread of stars is starting to appear, and we sail again tomorrow!