Location: Jalouise Bay, St. Lucia
The last remnants of the fading light slowly slipped below the horizon as we made fast to our mooring buoy in Jalouise Bay with the towering cliffs of Grande and Petit Piton rising to our north and south. Dinner was already laid out on the chart house, and the aroma of fresh goat curry wafted back to us as we sat in the cockpit. We had arrived, and it felt wonderful. Today started off early. We slipped the mooring and started out of Roseau, Dominica at 6 am, before the sun had crested the horizon, set sails as soon as practical, and got underway. The first 20 miles of passage were in open water, with the gulf of the Atlantic off our port. A strong, consistent easterly wind and a high, rolling sea made for yet another beautiful passage. Once we sailed into the lee of Martinique and the wind and seas calmed, we started the main engine and motor-sailed. The boat was rolling as little as it ever does on a passage, which made it the best time of the day to have our MTE Basic Sailing midterm. With that test done, we should all now have our International Crew Certificates, and we can begin working on our Navigation Master rating. Those of us up on deck after the MTE exam got a special treat as a Pygmy Sperm Whale surfaced just off our starboard bow and swam along on the surface as we sailed on by. After the hubbub around the whale had subsided, we once again ventured into the pitching, rolling below decks for our SLD Leadership class. We took a pair of Leadership Style tests, one which evaluated us on whether we were people or task oriented leaders, and one which informed us whether we were Lions, Otters, Beavers, or Golden Retrievers. We spent a little time discussing the styles of leadership that each test evaluated, and a lot of time debating the effectiveness of the tests. Another rollicking sail later, we arrived in the lee of St. Lucia. The first bay we pulled into didn’t have any unoccupied mooring buoys, and the ranger was unsurprisingly reluctant to tell the 80 foot mega yachts to go find somewhere else to stay. So, as the light faded away, we sailed around Petit Piton into Jalouise Bay, made fast to the mooring buoy, and sat down to dinner. Tonight is a free night for us to collect ourselves, study for our upcoming Marine Bio exam, and prepare Argo for tomorrow. We want her looking her best for our meeting with her sister ship Ocean Star. As we lugged the fisherman into place, shipmate Shippee called out Dude, look at the moon! We looked up and the moon was surrounded by a corona of shimmering colors, a fleeting circular rainbow.