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Location: Nevis to Dominica

On the morning of Day 12, everyone creaked out of bed sore from the previous day’s activities. The smell of bacon made the early wake-up up a bit easier and the little cuts, bumps, bruises, and achey bums people acquired during the horse and bike rides had gone down. Some started the day diving off of the boat, while the rest of the crew let their bodies recover and relaxed on deck. Gabe, Sophia, Jon, Jack, and Max got a head start on their oceanography research paper. They decided to take a look at algal growth rates on the hull of the boat over the next few weeks and began their scraping and photographic processes.

Eddie and Jack hopped in the water with Steph for a fun dive under the boat. Due to a head cold, this was Steph’s first time getting to dive since the trip began, and was greeted at the bottom by a tiny octopus trying to blend in with Ocean Star’s anchor! Bobbi, Ryan, and May went diving by themselves, which was an exciting taste of freedom and responsibility. The benthic community was much different than we had seen before diving on the sandy coral reefs. The bottom was covered in seagrass, which looked like we were swimming in a flooded meadow. Given the lack of underwater landmarks, we were sure to keep a close watch on our compasses and set off to explore. The seagrass was as full of life as the reefs, we just had to look a little closer. We found a handful of baby lionfish, some extraordinary upside-down jellyfishes, many wonderful and colorful nudibranch species, and dozens of juvenile species that we’ve seen on the reefs. At one point, we spotted the seagrass moving away from us, and we swam over to find a huge seabass creeping it’s way through the strands, just like a lion stalking prey in tall grass. We got a bit lost on our way back, likely due to the drift and our exciting yet distracting discoveries, but luckily we weren’t too far from the boat when we finally decided to just come to the surface.

With everyone back on board, we munched on a delicious Mexican lasagna for lunch, then rallied together for passage prep. Once the boat was ship-shape and Dramamine took, we said goodbye to beautiful Nevis and set sail for Dominica. This passage has been wetter, but fortunately much smoother so far. We are looking forward to what Dominica has in store!

Until tomorrow… Cheers!