Location: English Harbor, Antigua
Today was quite an adventurous day. After breakfast, we divided into two groups. One group was to do a science walk to the Pillars of Hercules in which Carolyn would teach us about the inter-tidal zones and examine the creatures living in the tide pools that formed there. The other group was to complete their advanced open water diver certification by doing their navigation dive. Before they went to do their dive, they had to practice navigating on land – it was pretty amusing to watch them navigate on the dock, with towels over their heads so they could only rely on their compass. I was placed in the group that went on the dive first. Morgana, Yi, Kaitlin, Joaquin, and I loaded our gear into Exy (one of our dinghies) and headed off for the dive. Joaquin and I are already advanced divers, and we are divemasters in training, so we spent the dive going over underwater skills. We also helped out a bit with logistics and congratulated all the advanced students when they finished their dive. Everyone on board going for their advanced certifications completed their final dive and got certified, so it was a very exciting day. Next up for them is rescue, which should be very fun. After the dive, we went on the hike to the Pillars of Hercules, which are giant cliffs on the coast of Antigua leading down to a bunch of tide pools. It was a beautiful hike, and it was quite cool to see the things we were learning about in class in real life. When we finished the hike, we headed back to the dock and had a bit of shore time. The chefs didn’t have to worry about cooking dinner because tonight, we went to Shirley Heights, a barbecue/concert/dance party. Shirley Heights is located at the top of a mountain overlooking English Harbor and Falmouth, so we hiked our way up there as the sunset behind the harbor. When we got there, a 12 piece Caribbean band was playing, and they had enough barbecue to feed a village. As the night progressed, they brought out a more modern band who played some dancing tunes and cover songs. All of Ocean Star took over the dance floor and rocked out with all the old people who had to be back on their cruise ship by 8:30. After we danced ourselves out, we took a taxi back down to the dock and headed to bed. Overall it was a fantastic day, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow when everyone gets to start rescue.