Location: Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
A late breakfast allowed the crew to break out the card games while we waited; this was the start of a fun-filled day. After our hearty egg-bake, we had oceanography with Marina, followed by PEN with Eric. As visions of food webs, primary producers, bioluminescent dinoflagellates, dead reckonings, current vectors, and leeway danced in our heads, lunch was served.
Our bellies full, we dove into our first round of rescue diver training. Kitted out, the crew hopped into the water and practiced our tired and panicked diver approaches and tows. Flailing arms and laughter filled the air as we took turns being rescuer and victim. The session ended with a quick dinghy ride over to Pain de Sucre, where we scouted out the site for our first-night dive! After our snorkel, once again finding ourselves with free time, the deck of cards was reproduced. What started as a quick game of Speed between Julia and myself snowballed into giant games of Slap Jack and BS with Steph, Marina, Wallace, Roger, and Peter.
If a sign of a good dinner is no leftovers, and Alex’s delicious sailor’s jambalaya hit it out of the park. Shortly after dinner, the deck was abuzz with preparations for our first-night dive. Soon, we were in the dinghies on our way back to Pain de Sucre. Descending into darkness was a little disorienting until our eyes adjusted and we realized we could see perfectly well by the light of the moon. With every fin kick, bioluminescence exploded in the water around us like miniature fireworks of electric blue. Three octopuses, two bearded fireworms, and a half dozen snake eels were spotted on the rocky bottom as we puttered around the reef. What is incredible during the day turned hauntingly beautiful in the moonlight. The ocean never ceases to amaze me. Waiting for us on Ocean Star upon our triumphant return was a giant pot of Eric’s delicious hot chocolate. Mugs full, the crew gathered in the cockpit to sip our hot cocoa and stargaze.