Location: Sandy Spit, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

I awoke the crew this morning to my “Wake up Happy” playlist, which I find a little more gentle than banging pots and pans. We were in for all sorts of fantastic food today to be prepared by chefs Carolyn and Sam, and we started the day with fresh bread (Carolyn’s dad’s recipe, so delicious!). I chose to top mine with salted butter and acacia honey, but other toppings included everything from cherry jam to Nutella and peanut butter. After cleanup, the rest of the morning was set aside as study time since we’re mid-final exams. Everyone took a break for a gratin de courgette with quinoa accompanied by everyone’s favorite, cold water. We moved straight into passage prep post-lunch so that we could lose the mooring and head to Sandy Spit. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we all gathered on deck to raise sails and get moving. The jib and flying jib were hoisted for the last time because we will be taking them off in Sandy Spit, so we enjoyed having 5 of S/Y Ocean Star’s six sails up! We made it over from Peter Island down the Sir Francis Drake Channel, past Tortola and Jost van Dyke all the way to Sandy Spit, where we then dropped both the port and starboard anchors. With the boat put away for the next couple of days, tables were set, and our final meal for the evening, poulet fricass (and mushrooms for the veggies), was served. It was the perfect meal for the chilly evening weather we’ve started having. As the meal finished, one by one, everyone answered what they were most looking forward to upon their return, answers ranging from family to friends and even things as simple as being able to starfish in bed (you don’t know how big a bed feels until you sleep in bunks for 80 days). Finally, the marine biology final exam and fish identification quiz were taken, and silent celebrations could be seen as exams were handed in. Goals for the day achieved, all retired to bunks or hammocks for a bit of rest before another full day tomorrow. Until then!