Location: Sandy Spit, BVI

Straight after breakfast, we were off on the hunt for manta rays, nurse sharks, and maybe something else in the blue. We were going diving. A small dinghy ride through a cut in the islands brings you out on the exposed Northern side. The bow of the dinghy bounced up and down in the swell, the first four divers, already wet from the spray, sat head to toe in black neoprene waiting for the bowman to get the bowline onto the mooring ball and for the all-clear signal. We were at ‘The Playgrounds.’ Despite its name, this is not an artificial reef made from old climbing frames and swings. It is famed for being the playground for rays and sharks that come in from the blue waters to clean and feed.
Unfortunately, the poor visibility made it hard to see, and we didn’t find any sharks or manta rays. But weaving through the cracks and crevasses made by the cool underwater rock formations was still really cool and made for a great final dive.
All that swimming built up an appetite. The summer smells of burning charcoal, and sizzling meat wafted downwind and across the decks of Ocean Star. Nick, Micah, and Drew had snuck over to Sandy Spit. A small oval-shaped piece of land, green and shrubbery at its center, golden sands and clear, pale blue water at the edges. So small that Jess circumnavigated the island twice in 3minutes and 20 seconds. On the Northwest side, sheltered from the southeast winds, Nick, Micah, and Drew had built a little fire pit and had started grilling 35 burgers. It was lunchtime.
The remainder of the day was spent relaxing, swimming and kicking a football around the beach. Taking our minds off of the fact that the first duffel bags had started to appear from the bilges. This was the start of the end.