Location: Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Today was another full and exciting day for the crew of Ocean Star. We began early, at 07:00, for breakfast. The crew then had a sail rigging and line handling class, learning more of the basics before our sail tomorrow. The class culminated with a “pin rail chase” in which the shipmates divided into two teams and tried their luck against each other, recalling the names of different lines. The new open water students then all passed their PADI quizzes, and we began to haul back the anchors. On our way to Mountain Point, we had lunch, so we were ready for action this afternoon upon reaching our destination. The afternoon began with the first open water dive for the new divers, reaching 30ft and experiencing life on the reef close up. The certified divers went out afterward and sighted a large Nassau grouper and Spanish lobster. At 16:00, we headed back to the reef armed with underwater scooters and GPSs. We searched the reef for elkhorn coral, an endangered species we monitor here in the eastern Caribbean, in association with a project run by NOAA. Luckily, the corals looked healthy, and we had fun exploring some swim-throughs, too. We were all tired and hungry by 17:00 and headed back to Ocean Star so the chefs (Andrew and Roxy) could prepare dinner. We finished off the evening with a slideshow of photos of Caribbean reef fish, helping everyone recognize the marine life we’ve been seeing on our dives.