Location: Antigua

The morning of July thirty-first began with a scrumptious breakfast of fruit, cereal, and yogurt that we all combined into one bowl. I have never mixed the three of these ingredients together, and it is a concoction that is surprisingly delicious. Breakfast began at 0730, and we were all stoked to be able to sleep in until that time, considering we’ve been waking up at the crack of dawn every morning. But it’s all good because it is absolutely amazing to wake up on an eighty-eight-foot schooner over the ocean. We have seen some pretty amazing sunrises on Ocean Star, which tops our morning off perfectly. After breakfast and clean-up, the crew prepared for oceanography presentations. Half of us gave our presentations the night prior, and the remaining continued the following morning. Everyone gave great presentations – we all learned some facts about sea turtles, marine mammals, mangroves, tsunamis, hurricanes, zebra mussels, aquaculture, thermal vents, whaling, marine education, red tide and habs, and volcanoes. Furthermore, our crew worked very hard on our oceanography papers, which we finished and handed in yesterday! We’re all stoked to have our papers and presentations under our belts. MTE followed oceanography class, and Kevin taught us how to use dead reckoning and estimated position. The class was really interesting and will be useful for charting. Plus, this knowledge will come in handy when we all have our own boats. Erin and Elise prepared tuna melts for lunch. Many of us have decided that having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is no longer a meal but a dessert. Therefore, we will have a full-up meal, followed by peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is amazing. After lunch and clean-up, we went on a navigation dive for our advanced open water scuba certification. It was a quick, fun dive. The stipulations of the navigation dive included: measuring our kick cycles, using our compass to swim in a straight line, and using our compass to swim in a square. We all passed, and it was a nice, warm dive. After diving and stowing our gear, we had some free time. Some went to the market to get some food, others relaxed on deck and read or used the internet. Tiffany, Brenna, and I hiked up to a 300-year-old abandoned fort that was used to guard the entrance to the harbor that we were anchored at. It was so awesome!! There were some really great views of the ocean and the harbor. Later in our free time, we all enjoyed a real shower onshore. We have all learned to appreciate non-manual toilets and showers that don’t involve a hose. Not that we don’t love showering in the ocean, because that is an adventure in itself! After getting all spick and span from our showers, we had breakfast for dinner, which included some awesome burritos of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, peppers, onions, and hot sauce for all of the hot sauce junkies on Ocean Star. Elise and Erin did a great job cooking yesterday! Following dinner, we cleaned up extra fast because we got to go out! We walked to a restaurant called Life, which was a super cool place right over the water. A guy was playing a keyboard and dj’ing, which made for a really chill environment. The restaurant had quotes of life written all over the walls, such as “Life is a canvas, throw as much paint on it as you can,” and “Life is like a bicycle. You don’t fall off until you stop pedaling.” It’s really nice to get the whole crew together and relax. Everyone gets along really well, and we all have a great time together, making nights out a good time. After walking back to O-Star, we were all beat by the exciting events of the day. We went to bed, some on the deck and some in our bunks. We needed a good night’s sleep to prepare for the passage to St.Barth’s. Overall, we had another awesomely phenomenal day in paradise!