Location: Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
Today was an awesome day. Some of us who were willing to brave a 5:30 am wake up call got up before the sun to be in the water for a sunrise dive at another site near Pigeon Island. I didn’t go myself, but I heard it was one of the best dives of the trip, complete with a sea turtle scratching itself on some coral. After breakfast, we got straight into passage prep, with the students leading the way to Antigua for our third student-led passage of the trip. It is awesome to see them progress and learn new skills. The navigation team learned how to use our computer navigation system with Tor and plotted our route. The crew was in a great mood and full of energy, and they decided to raise our three main sails while still at anchor and sail off the anchor, raising the other two sails once we were further from Guadeloupe and had a bit more wind. It was a beautiful day, and everyone was enjoying the passage, but the real excitement came in the afternoon when we heard Caroline and Morgana up on bow watch shout ‘whales!’ At first, we thought it was humpbacks, but after a little while, we realized it was a mixed group of sperm whales and Orcas. Orcas are quite rare in the area, and it was an amazing experience to see them here in the Caribbean in the wild. Even crazier was seeing them with the sperm whales. We don’t know for sure, but based on the commotion going on, it is likely that the Orcas were hunting one of the smaller sperm whales. After learning about marine mammals in OCB a few weeks ago, it was absolutely incredible to see them while out at sea. The afternoon excitement continued when we heard one of the fishing reels go, followed by ‘fish on!’, then immediately heard the other one go, and another ‘fish on!’ We caught two Mahi Mahi’s within about 30 seconds! Aaron reeled in one while Duncan took on the other. Duncan learned how to fillet the Mahi with Nick’s help and then took on the challenge of eating one of the fish eyes. Surprisingly, he quite liked it and decided to eat a second along with Cole (Cole decided to opt-out of a second one). We continued to sail along, catching a beautiful tuna along the way, until we finally reached our destination of Antigua just after sunset and dinner. Like I said, an awesome day!