Today was a full day (what else is new?), with so much getting accomplished. After some delicious crepes for breakfast, everyone moved to the saloon to play a homemade review game for the upcoming OCE midterm – think Cranium meets Blue Planet. Split into groups of three; students had to sculpt, draw, act out, or describe terms and concepts such as covalent bonds, divergent boundaries, Captain James Cook, and lithogenous sediments. After review, we got out dive gear set up and dinghied over to a nearby tugboat wreck. Despite a current, we saw lots of marine life growing up and swimming around the wreck, including a baby lionfish. This was especially notable since lionfish are invasive in the Caribbean, and everyone had just finished writing a paper on the lionfish problem for OCB last week. Post-lunch, we headed into shore for some free time – many people spent this exploring the small town of Port Elizabeth, doing some shopping, skyping home, working on assignments, and relaxing and eating in some of the cute local restaurants.
We also managed to restock the boat on propane, dinghy fuel, and food for the week and get the ship’s laundry done! We came back to Ocean Star and were met by a local named Willy, who has been meeting Ocean Star to sell handmade whales in the shape of whales and sea turtles for several years. I bought a small whale necklace made out of polished coconut, and several other students have souvenirs of our time in Bequia as well. We showered, chowed down on some fish and chicken tacos, cleaned up, got the dinghies back on board, and are now about to start a lesson on identifying fish and invertebrates in preparation for when we will conduct a survey dive for the organization Reefcheck. Whew! What can we say? We like to make the most of our days here on Ocean Star! It has been exactly one month that we have all been on this ship together, and it is awesome to see how much everyone has gotten used to life on board and gotten the rhythm of our days. It is kind of crazy to think of how much we have already done and all of the places we have gone in the past month, and we are all so excited about the locations and adventures that still lie ahead.