Location: Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI

This morning began with the smooth tones of Jack Johnson flowing through the salon as the smell of blueberry muffins and breakfast burritos wafting in the air. The students of Ocean Star would need all the strength and energy they could muster for the days plans. After a speedy cleanup and a top-up on sunscreen, the crew split into several groups to test their skills they had learned the previous day during their sail up to Gorda Sound. This time, however, the sailing would take place either on a small 24-foot keelboat or a Hobie catamaran. The small boats meant the feel of the sails, and the heel of the boat could be felt much more readily, driving home the differences between a close haul and broad reach. Students practiced tacking and jibing around the bay, switching between the two boats, perfecting their newfound seamanship skills before we head out on our first overnight sail to Nevis tomorrow morning. A quick break to re-energize with lunch, and we were headed back out. This time it was across the bay to snorkel the mangroves. Students witnessed an array of unique marine life common in this unique niche such as juvenile barracuda, Cassiopeia jellyfish, juvenile butterflyfish, sea cucumbers, and many more! Back on board, a few more people headed out for some more sail fun on the catamaran while others enjoyed a little downtime or got started on some of their recently assigned papers. The crew regrouped for showers just before heading over to the Sandbox on Pickly Pear where they would join the Action Quest and Go Beyond students (Sea|Mesters sister companies which run summer camps for high school students) for a beach BBQ with music by the BVIs one and only DJ Heavy Beats! After that, it was off to Saba Rock for their first sign-out night to top off the day with smoothies, desserts, and maybe sample the local beer. Everyone headed to bed tired and excited about the new adventure tomorrow held.