Location: Nevis

Today was a busy day, full of adventure and fun. After breakfast and a quick meeting about group research projects for OCE (oceanography), we loaded up into the dinghies to head into Nevis. Half of the group was going for a bike ride around the island, while the other half decided to go for a horseback ride. Those of us who were in the biking group got quite the workout as we biked the entire 22-mile road that circumnavigates the island. It was a cool way to see the island, taking in views of the ocean, the volcanic mountain in the center of the island, and everyone’s houses and stores along the way. We were rewarded at the end with some time relaxing at a cute restaurant along the beach in the bay where we had rented the bikes. The group that went for a horseback ride had a great time, riding through the beautiful tropical flora as well as along the beach. Back on the boat, we took our traditional Ocean Star showers, jumping into the ocean between rounds of shampoo and conditioner. I then taught an oceanography class on marine providences, where we learned about seafloor features like seamounts, the continental shelf, and the mid-ocean ridge. They then broke into groups, and each created a seafloor in one of our large cooking pots using random materials and some play dough; they then covered it with tinfoil and switched with a different group. Each group then had to use a piece of high-tech equipment (a pencil I marked off in centimeters) to take “soundings” of the seascape in the pot and develop a bathymetric chart based on the depths. I think most of the charts were a little off, but we had fun and learned about the methods used to create the types of charts that we use when we sail. After class, we were all very excited to head to shore to a super cute beach restaurant and bar called Sunshines. We had a delicious dinner served to us and enjoyed hanging out around a huge bonfire on the beach. Most importantly, today was G’s 19th birthday, and so after our squeeze around the bonfire (I had a very serious question tonight – show us your favorite dance move), we all broke into “Happy Birthday to you” and shared some brownies that we had baked earlier and brought ashore. I think after a day of horseback riding, a delicious dinner and dessert on the beach, and all of the great company you get living on OStar, it is safe to say that G had a fun and memorable birthday.