Location: 16°55.72'N 062°10.12"W

Contrary to the last 56 days, today, I woke up trying to figure out how to make us go slower. Unfortunately, 55 days of scheduling early wake-ups, “we’ll eat breakfast once sails are up,” and Steve and I shouted back and forth, “What do we want?! Sails up!! When do we want them?! Now!!” has done far too effective a job of training the students to get up and get going on sail days.

We had a 123 nautical mile passage to and from Guadeloupe to Saint Barth’s. At our base speed of 6 knots and leaving at the planned 9:30-10 am, we would have sailed all day and night and cruised into Gustavia as the sun began to peek over the horizon. Some Irish grandmother, however, must have gotten the words slightly wrong when she wishes her shipmate, “May the waves rise to meet you. May the wind always come howling back. May Steve make yummy pasta and rains fall soft upon your watch.” Luckily a quick bedtime check of the weather last night had me warned that our 6 knots were more likely to be 8, getting us in around… 1 a.m. That’s okay, Tina and I schemed. We’ll have the students prepare the boat for passage in the morning. Plus, breakfast will probably be late.

The students must have been on to us. At 7:20, Kyle called down that breakfast was served, and by 8:45, they had finished breakfast clean up and the entirety of passage prep. I’ll have them take their jump-in showers now, I thought. That will slow them down. 9:15, everyone who wanted to shower was done. You get the picture, dear reader, your sons, daughters, friends, nieces, or perhaps grandchildren had me beat at every turn, so by noon, they had raised the anchor, set sails, and we were flying north along the coast of Guadeloupe.

Excited to have split into three new watch teams, and probably even more so because it meant 3 hours on, 6 hours off rather than 4 and 4. Students were undeterred by Ocean Star’s rolling in the beam swell or the squalls that doused us every 45 minutes or so. After a few hours’ nap, many students from other watch teams came on deck to hang out with those currently on duty. Kyle caught some more sargassum. Skye, Alex, and Kylie played a seemingly complicated game of poke the sail with a deck brush until all the water dumps on someone’s (or everyone’s) head. Matt listened to endless stories meant to send him into the final stages of seasickness, but he must have built up sealegs after all because no one’s stories were successful. Dan asked everyone what their favorite Wonder was. Mari told very exciting stories about people we had never heard of. Miranda, Claire, and Margaret told ghost stories and looked for the constellations Tina had taught them. Jules discovered french biscuits are good even in the rain. Tessa ate corn on the cob in the most peculiar manner. And of course, podcasts were listened to (or perhaps more accurately talked over), music was danced to, and night fruit was eaten.

Though the Irish Grandmother, the steep gradient of the Caribbean atmosphere, and the students in their efficiency and sail trim all tried to beat me, I won at last. Dawn was breaking as we screamed past the southern end of St Barths, and the sun had risen as the last sail was dropped, and we motored our way in to drop anchor.

And that concludes this episode of what on earth is going on on Ocean Star.
Till next time,

Captions of pictures:
Photo 1: Miranda and Skye are arguing over who is the queen of the foresail.
Photo 2: Jules is singing into his invisible microphone.
Photo 3: Dan 10 minutes after his last sunscreen application and 10 minutes before his next sunscreen application.
Photo 4: Before.
Photo 5: After.
Photo 6: Squall yoga.

P.S. Maman and Daddy, when we go sailing this summer, I promise I’ll let you sleep in.