Location: Queen's Bay, Saba

Hey Hey! It’s ML writing the blog for Heather! Heather woke us up a little bit before seven today since we were having breakfast at 7:15. Ben made us a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon with bread and other breakfast sandwich toppings to fuel everyone for their double dive morning. Sadly I didn’t get to dive this morning, so I stayed back on the boat and spent some time studying with Jules for our oceanography exam that was after lunch before taking a short nap and helping in the galley with lunch. After everyone got back from diving, we had lunch before rolling into an afternoon filled with science. First, we had our oceanography final exam, and then we had our last marine biology lecture with Heather, which was so sad. Once we finished class, we did passage prep to get ready for our sail to Statia, our last sail before the student-led passage. It is mind-blowing to me that we are at the point where we are basically taking over all of the sailing stuff from the staff. It has been a huge learning experience getting to this point, and I’m sure tomorrow will continue to be since it is our first time having to tack since Statia is upwind.

Heather, here to add a little snippet of our dive adventures this morning. Picture this- we descend down the mooring line in blue water, and the first thing that comes into view is a big ‘ol southern stingray. The first site was a seagrass meadow sloping down from the cliffy coast of Saba into a sandy patch where we slowly circled a reef down from 60 feet. A few members of the group were lucky to see a shark, but many of us befriended the local turtles and got some study time in for tomorrow’s fish ID quiz for my bio class (see some photos below taken by Doron). After the first dive, we had a surface interval on the dive boat and got to chat with our local guides. Because we are staying and diving in a marine-protected area here, we have to use a local dive guide and get some additional local insight and info. The second dive was two sea mounds next to each other, a bit offshore, surrounded by sand. These mounds were a hotspot for fish, and at the base of the reef, you could look up and see the silhouette of several schools of wrasse or jacks at any given time. My personal favorite was the heaps and heaps of black durgon triggerfish that surrounded us on our safety stop. Some other fan favorites were massive Caribbean spiny lobsters, barracuda, honeycomb cowfish, and many more. Another successful dive day in the (log)books 🙂