Location: Les Saintes

Greetangs All. Nick is no longer on board, so a ghost is penning his blog for today. You may each guess who it is if you so desire. Or not. The time will pass anyway. y

Today, we were greeted with an extra special treat. Breakfast was French pastries (croissants, pain au chocolate, pain au raisin, and baguette) from Ti Saintois Patisserie and Boulangerie on shore. It was delicious and begged the question, how much money could we all pool to ensure this happens every morning? Who could we convince to attempt homemade croissants for their next chef day? (Emma, sleep with one eye open). As the decking brushed away 400 layers of flaky lamination from the deck, our bellies were buttery, and our fingers were nutella-y because, sorry, Ti Saintois, but all bread items have been reduced to vessels for the hazelnut. Then we hopped into Oceanography class and continued listening to our fellow classmates’ literature review presentations on various ocean topics they’d been researching. Today’s highlight was Sophia listing Chornobyl as a great success in some regard. Her topic was climate change. I’m unsure where that specific Venn diagram overlaps, but I’m sure we all learned something new by sheer virtue of being present in class today. Then we had another marine science class, this one a bit more hands-on in nature – a coral lab for marine bio inventorying and noting the health of our neighboring coral reef in this anchorage. We did this via an in-class snorkeling lab – not too shabby. Then we had some bean and corn tacos for lunch, seasoned with a bit of fresh rain as we ate. In 5 years or so, you’ll probably be able to pay big bucks for the same experience in a fine dining establishment in LA.

Continuing our quest for academic enrichment, we started our afternoon with leadership class. Arielle and Sophia led the class in a discussion and exercise on the benefits of change and various reasons people are hesitant to do it. The class included an improv game, and we continued down our path to method acting in a “Most Effective Leader” debate. Each person chose someone (famous, imaginary, historical, fictional, known to them) that they thought was an example of a great, effective leader. Their first task was debating at their tables with their neighbors. Ultimately, each table chose one leader and agreed that this was their best option. At the end of this portion, three leaders emerged as our best options – Taylor Swift, Jesus Christ, and Shrek. One student from each table was then chosen to get into character as their selected leader – Mads as Shrek, Tom as Taylor Swift, and Sophia as Jesus. They left the room while the rest of their teams became their respective attorneys/PR teams. Scenarios where leadership actions needed to be taken were pitched, and the leaders, in character, would respond with what they would do while their teams tried to convince them of what they should do, highlighting some differences in our perceptions of people and their more impulsive, human realities. The class concluded with Shrek emerging victorious and the whole class singing a rousing rendition of Smash Mouth’s All-Star. A rainy day and a weird mood took hold.

Then, we all went diving. And diving. And dying? And diving again. We continued our Rescue Diver course with what tended to be the most grueling tasks – reviving an unresponsive diver at the surface, removing said unresponsive diver from the water, and getting them onto the boat for CPR/additional treatment. What does this entail? A lot of screaming. A lot of counting in the specific style of Freddie from iCarly, where the last number is silent. A lot of unclipping buckles. And evidently, many a scuba mask dropped to the 90ft bottom of the ocean floor (all successfully recovered, thank you, Steph and Jake). After over 2 hours in the water, a very wet dinghy, and an imaginary captain who had been asked to prepare the emergency oxygen 47 times, we all successfully passed. We hopped out just in time for a lovely sausage roast with veggies, mash, and bread rolls.

Then we were BACK IN THE WATER? Oh yeah. Hands in full prune mode, we were back diving……. at night. We went for our very first night dive on the same coral reef we snorkeled in earlier in the morning. But it was completely different this time. It was dark! We brought flashlights and saw just how different everything looked at night. What glows, what doesn’t? Where bioluminescence likes to hide. We saw nudibranchs, too! Marine biologists love nudibranchs. Then we were greeted by hot chocolate back on the boat and warm showers to end our very packed day. Sike! Well, that is true, but also, we have a Marine Bio exam tomorrow morning, so many of us stayed up to study a bit post-dive.

Goodnight to all from Vela’s ghost author. And Vela’s ghost!