Location: 16°59.48'N 061°59.07'N

Following last night’s night dive off of Pillars of Hercules rock formations around the cove, everyone prepared for the next day with hot chocolate and early bedtimes. For those who had just been Open Water certified, this was our first official non-training dive, meaning the pressure was on to take full responsibility for ourselves and our buddies.

This morning, we got to sleep in until 7:30… a luxury which many were fully unprepared for and woke up at our normal time of 7:00 anyway, and in full panic. Watching the ins and outs of other boats through Nelson’s Dockyard, we crunched on our yogurt and granola and discussed the details of last night’s dive with friends.
Shortly following breakfast, we began working on our EFR exercises- specifically those discussing spinal injuries and proper procedures for helping someone who is choking. In case any of you avid readers were wondering, you shouldn’t ever move someone who you suspect has a spinal injury unless they are not breathing. Practicing “log rolls” or the rolling of the dead weight of a person resulted in lots of giggles and bruises as we struggled to flip each other while keeping the person calm and their spine straight. Box and I specifically practiced our acting skills as we choked and reenacted deadly falls from invisible ladders, rushing to each others’ aid.

After finishing EFR exercises, the crew of the Ocean Star had free shore time on Antigua. While a few chose to hike around the dockyard, most of us chose to venture inland in search of local food, and, as always, WiFi. Tom, our chosen sailing dad, showed Maddie, Mikaela, Heidi and I around Antigua in search of the elusive “Crazy Chicken Lady” who owns a stand and sells local jerk chicken. Although her booth was closed, we stopped at another local shop and got to eat some curry chicken and pork roti’s, a specialty of the island. Along with our delicious food though, as served a so-called “Raspberry Juice” which the group conceded tasted like salsa and apple juice mixed together. Clearly, not the biggest hit in the group.

After free time, was my appreciation for the day: picking up our fresh laundry that we had sent over the following day. After waiting an extra 30 minutes (Island time means things never get done when you think they will), we all rushed the building and grabbed our piles of freshly washed clothes, like children on Christmas morning. I can safely say I have never been so excited to see my clothes clean and folded in my life, so a huge thank you to Matilda the laundry-woman.
After laundry and a quick freshwater shower on the dock, we headed off on our passage to St. Barths. Currently, the seas are extremely calm, the moon is gleaming, and bioluminescence is all around us. After sharing what we wished we would have told ourselves before the trip (many mentioning sunscreen, clothing items and after-bite), we broke into our watch groups and prepared for the overnight passage to St. Barths.

Also sending lots of love to my dad, who made it clear to me to write a long and extremely detailed blog entry. Hope this made the cut.
And tomorrow…. St. Barths!
Maya