Location: Terre-de-Haut, Les Saintes
Last night we got our phones back. Some people didn’t miss their phones at all, but most were excited to call family and listen to music again. After being reunited with the rest of the world, we went to bed. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said that last night was the best sleep they’ve had on the trip so far. Even those of us that had to wake up for anchor watch was able to fall back asleep fairly easily. We suspect it’s because we all got little sleep during our first passage the night before.
We woke up refreshed and had breakfast tacos to start our day.
After that, everyone had the opportunity to go diving. Those of us that aren’t open water dive certified yet have been working on our certifications all week. Because of that, the 1/3 of us that is already certified haven’t had much of an opportunity to dive until today. They said it was fun to finally get to do a real dive. We are anchored really close to a reef, so there were lots to see. We had dive groups going out all day, and while certain groups were diving, the other half of us had our first science lab. We learned about the various pieces of oceanography equipment on board and how to use them.
When not diving or learning to be scientists, people napped, read, and/or worked on their fish ID books for marine biology. Now that we’ve been here for a week, this weekend also consisted of a lot of laundry. There isn’t a washing machine on the ship, so we wash our clothes in buckets. We first wash them in seawater mixed with detergent, then transfer them to a freshwater bucket to get the salt out. After all that, we look for an available section of line to hang our wet clothes on.
Showering while at anchor is a similar process. We call it “ocean showering,” and we do it to reserve our freshwater supply. We apply our shampoo and conditioner on deck, then jump into the ocean to wash everything out. At the end of the ocean shower, we get a quick freshwater rinse with the hose.
We only get one meat meal a day, and since our breakfast tacos had sausage, our lunch and dinner were both vegetarian meals. For lunch, we had grilled cheese, tomato, and pesto sandwiches. Dinner was roasted veggies with gravy and Yorkshire pudding. All of it was good.
We have our first leadership class later tonight and an early sunrise hike tomorrow morning, so I’ve got to wrap this up. It’s been a big adjustment learning to sleep with five other people in a small room, wake up at odd hours, and “shower” by jumping in the ocean and getting hosed down, but we’re having a good time.