Location: Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Early wake-ups were a must this morning because of our fully packed schedule for the day. Before anything else, we all geared up in our swimsuits and hopped in the water for the first activity of the day: a swim test that included both a swim and then a 10min tread, during which we played name games to pass the time. After a quick dry-off and changing into dry clothes, we had a nutritious breakfast of Argo fruit-cereal bowls, we learned about the Job Wheel. This magical wheel sets the responsibilities of each crew member aboard the ship. Soon after learning each of our responsibilities, the deck became a flurry of brushes, viciously scrubbing bits of food from the cockpit, and water haphazardly spraying every potentially dirty surface. “Salties” thoroughly washed dishes in large tubs of ocean water, while “gophers” carefully transported leftovers to the galley through the main hatch. In the cabin, chefs put away the food while stewards tidied up chairs and surfaces. By the end, the boat was a crisp clean, and everyone was eager to head off. Before getting off the dock, we sat down and learned about PFD (personal flotation devices) safety, trying them on, and making sure they were sized to us.

A brisk motor-sail past the scarcely-populated islands of the BVI and bright turquoise water ended with our arrival in Savannah Bay, where we gathered in the saloon to learn about the principles of diving or underwater navigation. After a host of PADI Open Water instructional videos and homework, we were all relieved to finally dive into the rejuvenating, bathtub-temperature water. Then, staring off into the purple-orange clouds, we had a wonderful lentil dinner, and shared our appreciations and aspirations in our evening squeeze session, both stating our appreciation of the day and answering the question “what is something you’ve learned about someone or yourself this trip?”.

Photo 4 by Josh Leiberman