Location: North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI
How can I define living on Ocean Star? It means so much more than average landlubber life,”it means being 1000% alive and viscerally present every minute of every day, and today has been no exception. From 7am to sunset the day has been full of challenges, adventures, laughter and learning. A bunch of exciting activities made this day extra special. In the morning, we learned about safety on-board, including what to do in case of a man overboard or flooding emergency. The class ended with a knot-tying competition, and the winner was awarded with the opportunity to push one unlucky crew member off the boat to demonstrate automatic PFD inflation.
Immediately afterward, the crew split into groups, some heading off to a mangrove forest to snorkel, others leaving the boat to practice dinghy sailing around North Sound. Many people got their hands on a tiller for the first time, while the snorkelers got to observe a nursery of young fish swimming through the mangrove roots. Juvenile barracuda and one-inch long butterfly fish peeked in and out of bright red and yellow corals, and schools of tiny Silversides surrounded the shoreline, swimming all around us and through the shallows. The underwater root structure reminded me of Tolkien’s elvish cities or a miniature Atlantis.
The afternoon was no less action-packed than the morning. All of the Open Water Diver students, who have been studying and diving hard for the past week, took and passed their final exam, so congratulations!!!! The whole crew was then free to do more small-boat sailing, this time on Hobie cats and Picos. Laughing uncontrollably for more than two hours, I watched my friends and I all capsize in the Caribbean waters, making a few successful tacks and jibes in between. There’s nothing like hiking out on a close-hauled Pico or attempting to pirate your friends’ capsized vessel. I’m sure all of North Sound could hear us screaming and laughing the whole afternoon.
Although it has only been one week, I already consider this schooner a second home and my crew-mates a strange and wild extended family. For our squeeze question everybody shared where and how they would like to be woken up, and I was incredibly touched by how many people said it would be right here. As the sun set on another gorgeous Caribbean day, we all set off for a night on shore to eat S’mores and swing in hammocks. Here’s to 32 more days of living just like this.