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Location: Petit Bayahaut, St. Vincent

Today, we arrived in St. Vincent; although we werent visiting the populated areas, we were in a small bay with great deep water dives. This was great because many of us needed to complete our first deep-water dives to proceed with our advanced open water certifications. We spent the morning completing classes and getting some of our final lectures out of the way, and by lunchtime, it felt like we had completed a whole day of work. For our dives in the afternoon, I was with Frida, Emma, Laszlo, Alva, and Kaden, led by Jake. Unfortunately, recently Vela has been plagued by the common cold, and consequently Kaden was having a hard time equalizing his ears past 50 feet, he returned to the surface while the rest of the group continued down. As I was swimming, Jake stopped in front of me, and if it werent for him grabbing my fin, I would have kept going. We had reached our maximum, 90 feet. Once there we compared depth gauges to see how they differed, and also stared at Jakes magnificent red bathing suit to see how depth affected color, instead of red it was now essentially grey.

After that, Jake and I brought raw eggs with us, and we cracked them on our tanks. We spent the rest of our bottom time playing with the eggs at depth. I tried eating it, but I missed it and broke the yolk. Because we descended over a sea grass bed i was convinced that was all we would do. But on our ascent, Jake brought us closer to the shore and up a very steep reef front. This was incredible; we saw just how invasive lionfish are here, and also many fish I would later add to my marine biology assignment. These included living Conch, nudibranchs, and many butterflyfish and parrotfish that had amazing patterns and colors. We spent our safety stop swimming back to the boat and surfaced right next to Vela, which was way better than swimming on the surface. Overall, I would say that this was my favorite dive yet.
Many of us spent the afternoon finishing up the 20 fish we had due for or fish ID books in Megs marine biology and adding the new species we had seen. For dinner, we were in for a treat. Freddie and Steph decided to treat us to a beach barbecue and even contracted some local fishermen to do a beer run for the boat, procuring 2 cases of a Caribbean staple- Carib. We all swam to shore around 4:30-5:00 and spent about an hour exploring some of the abandoned buildings and alcoves along the beach and up the hill. Jake then grilled burgers and hotdogs for us. Before we ate, Steph told us that the captain of another Seamester boat, Ocean Star, had been burned working in the engine room. This meant that it was our beloved chief mate Nicks second to last night with us and that we would be leaving to meet the other boat and make the exchange early the next morning. This was very sad for the whole crew but we still had a great time on the beach to celebrate his second to last supper with us on Vela. We stayed on the beach well past sunset, sitting by the fire and enjoying a change of scenery for dinner. After loading the dinghy back up with all of our leftovers and supplies, we swam back to the boat to conclude an incredible day. We had cleanup in the dark and prepared the boat for the 24 hour passage ahead. I think today has been my favorite day of the trip thus far, and now that we are in the Caribbean and not on such long passages, I hope we have more epic days like today.

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