Location: Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Right at the crack of dawn, three of our most strong-willed crew members, all girls, succeeded in waking up in time to go on a hike to witness the sunrise on top of a picturesque hill, one of the most beautiful spots Les Saintes has to offer. The originally nineteen-member strong hike group shrunk to the small size of three participants, as our entire crew is currently struggling with the issue of never being entirely satisfied with the amount of sleep it gets, even though the majority of the crew usually jumps at the chance to go to sleep the second we return to Ocean Star and uses every minute free of work to take the all-around cherished power naps.

Everybody was greeted with a, in my very biased opinion, the best breakfast of the entire trip composed of pain au chocolat, baguettes, and croissants. After breakfast, we were greeted with the second half of our EFR lectures, which was filled with laughter and numerous role-plays of injured victims and first responders. After practicing log rolls and recovery positions on each other and completing the final part of our EFR lectures, we were allowed to go onshore and thus given an opportunity to explore Les Saintes by daylight. Our crew got to enjoy the variety of different restaurants, and most of us ended our stay on shore with refreshing gelato and smoothies. Another upside to our shore visit was our fresh laundry that we were able to pick up. The majority of us have never appreciated the smell of laundry detergent so much as we did today.

After recharging our internal batteries onshore, we were ready to face the challenges of our EFR exam before dinner, which, fortunately, everybody passed! Although the pace at which we are learning new things every day can be quite challenging, having to balance individual work, seamanship, oceanography, and SCUBA certifications, the accomplishment everybody feels at the end of the day, whether it’s having completed a difficult hike or passed an exam, is worth getting out of our comfort zones.