Location: Marigot Bay, St Lucia

Unexpected though it may be, waking up students with music and hanging out with them in the salon as they get ready for the day is genuinely one of the (many) favorite parts of this job. None of the other mornings I have been skipper this semester have allowed for it, but today we had time. After the first few notes of The Circle of Life from the Lion King, I could already hear Margaret laughing in her bunk. Usually, it takes a song or two to get people truly moving. This morning before the first song had even finished, most of the girls had climbed out of bed. By song two, Kylie, Mari and Skye stood serenading the rest of us as they danced dramatically to the words. I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan had both Kyle and Matt out of bed and join in, at least with the singing. Jules quickly followed. That left only Claire in bed. Fear, not avid readers, all of us crowding into the port six-man cabin singing Living on a Prayer into our hairbrushes/phones/spatulas got her out of bed laughing. Kudos to Skye for her ability to change the words to “living on a boat” and other apropos lyrics.

The momentum continued as someone randomly decided to sing/dance their way up the companionway steps, and everyone followed suit. Somehow that turned into gophering up breakfast as a group before Steve had even had time to finish cooking the last fried onions. Did the energy fizzle there? Certainly not. Perhaps it was the wake or perhaps the promise of an entire afternoon of freedom to eat, explore, swim in a pool, or drink endless smoothies while doing homework and job applications, but the good mood and general cheer carried straight through Seamanship class.

We began the Navigation Master portion of the course: the most difficult for many. Luckily for us, the Marina/Resort allowed us to use the tables of one of their cafes, so we spread out all our charts, instead of all crowding around the two salon tables, and got down to business learning about variation, deviation, course plotters, dividers and more.

At 11 am on the dot, the students scattered for their much dreamed about free shore time. They came back with stories of sumptuous lunches, facials, smoothies, lounging by the pool, snickers bars!, talking to mom, smoothies, massages, ice cream, smoothies, hearing back from internships, swimming, and (can you guess it?) smoothies!!! As we bounced onto the fuel dock, students grabbed their towels and headed off for their coveted dock showers. With HOT water!!

Steve’s famed fried chicken proved well worth the wait, and now full and happy after a great day, everyone has begun to slowly head to bed, for tomorrow we wake up at 6.

Till next time,

P.s Maman, I accidentally gave the students your cell number instead of mine today in case they needed to get a hold of me while onshore. I corrected myself, but the dissemination of information isn’t always perfect, so if you get calls from lost students over the next 38 days, you have full creative license.
Dad, I hope your cold gets better.