Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia
Today on Ocean Star, we woke to the lovely smell of scones baked by our very own Brooke and James. After breakfast, the students had a Marine Biology class with Nick, where they had the much-awaited lecture on fish, sharks, and rays! The SMMA (Soufriere Marine Management Association) officials came for a visit after class to teach us all a bit about what they do and what makes them so successful. Saint Lucia was actually voted one of the most successful marine parks in the world. We then jumped into the dinghies and headed off for a dive led by the SMMA. The first dive of the day was at a site just below the Petit Piton (one of two large mountains characteristic of Saint Lucia) called Superman’s Flight. It was a gorgeous drift dive. The second dive was even better, at a site called the Pinnacles. It was as if someone had shrunk the Pitons and placed them on the seafloor. We saw tons of beautifully colored sponges and all sorts of fish, including a massive barracuda. We dove this as a drift dive as well, which takes much of the navigation aspect out. This afternoon, we all had a bit of time to go for a snorkel, have a swim, or catch up on some work. Nick, Ivy, and Ben went over to the other side of the harbor to check out at bat cave. As dark falls, hundreds of bats fly out of a slit in the side of the cliff, but during the day, it is an awesome spot to snorkel. After dinner, Nick will finish up his lecture on fish, and I will teach an SLD class. We cannot believe it is already day 40; sadly, that means we are halfway through the trip. During dinner, we discussed what we all want to accomplish in our next 40 days. It sounds like we all have some pretty amazing things to look forward to, from fishing to earning sailing certifications and climbing up to the crow’s nest (a little platform at the top of the forward mast). Life is pretty wonderful here on Ocean Star.