Location: Deshaies, Guadeloupe
Today was an early sleepy awakening on Ocean Star. We moved from the beautiful islands of Les Saintes, over to mainland Guadeloupe where we planned to anchor at the national marine park of Guadeloupe. Underway to the anchorage, we had a delicious breakfast of sausage, fried eggs, and toast, after which we had marine biology class. We arrived at Pigeon Island around 10:00 and pulled all our dive gear from the Laz to go diving in a marine protected area dedicated to the very famous oceanographer Jacque Cousteau. It was absolutely beautiful; most of the group went SCUBA diving while a few of us stayed on the surface to snorkel. A few of the snorkelers continued their research projects and took data in the shallows before heading out a bit deeper for a dive. The marine park had sunk a bust of the legendary Cousteau in about 30ft of water, which allowed for some excellent photos and some well-placed photo bombing. After getting back on the boat, we had a delicious lunch of pasta salad and then headed over to Deshaies to anchor for the night. Following a yummy dinner of chili, a group of French scientists and artists came aboard to give a presentation about a project they are working on with the whales here in Guadeloupe. This group of cetaceanophiles, researchers, and acoustic engineers have designed a wind instrument that was inspired by the shape of a conch shell. This synthetic shell allows researchers to produce whale songs above and beneath the surface of the ocean and allows for interspecies communication. The mission of the Shelltone Whale Project is to play, improvise, and co-write music with whales, sublimating through this common creation the fundamentals of interspecies communication. It was a fantastic presentation, and we cannot thank Pierre Lavagne de Castellan and his colleges enough for coming out to present to us. If you want to find out more about the project, you can check out their website http://www.shelltonewhaleproject.org/?lang=en for more information. It is a windy night yet again in the Caribbean, and we will need to keep a watchful eye on both our anchor and on the positions of the boats around us tonight. We are getting ready to head to Antigua tomorrow, which will be an all-day affair as it is 42 miles north of us. This trip has been amazing so far, and I am looking forward to the last 28 days of the program. It is hard to believe it has flown by so quickly.