Location: Englsih Harbour, Antigua

Today was filled with amusing times in the sun, and good food enjoyed in good company. As we climbed the companionway this morning, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Sam and Matty had made us waffles with our new waffle maker. Yay! After our exciting new breakfast, Team Science lead a group of shipmates on a scramble above the Pillars of Hercules, arch-like rock formations at the entrance to English Harbour. We clambered along the rocks between cacti and century plants high above the vivid blue water, then climbed down to a pool of seawater. We examined the organisms that lived in this intertidal zone; cyanobacteria, small trumpetfish, and sergeant majors, tiny snails and hermit crabs, chitons, keyhole limpets, and small urchins. We discussed adaptations that these organisms have to survive desiccation and being battered by waves, and Brandon made friends with his nemeses, the urchins.

We arrived back at Ocean Star and quickly grabbed our dive gear (and extra waffles) for an OCB fish observation lab. After a quick lunch, Jon gave a lecture on sailboat racing, his sport back home, and then we all walked over to Falmouth Harbour to give it a go. We practiced tacking and jibing in Sport 16sso much smaller than Ocean Star then began racing in earnest. Jon’s team seemed poised for a win, but their mast fell down on their last lap. Meghan’s team and Matty/Tor’s team raced to the finish, with Meghan’s team crossing the line moments ahead. Unfortunately, immediately after the race, the wind died. Hilarity ensued as we drifted with the current, dodging yachts and trying to bail water out of our boat, on an impromptu harbor tour. Eventually, we were towed back to shore, having learned an important lesson: sailboats need wind. Shipmates enjoyed free time for shopping, Gelato, internet, and tennis, and then they met back on the boat for a leadership class on the dock. This evening, we had a very special treat: Boot’s father treated us to an Italian dinner out! We enjoyed authentic pasta and pizzas at a lovely candlelit waterfront restaurant. As much as we’ve been impressed with the food on Ocean Star, it was great to eat restaurant food and chat for three stress-free hours. Huge thanks to Papa F from all of us on Ocean Star! We’ve had an excellent time in English Harbour and are all a little sad to leave in the morning, but the remote turquoise waters of Green Island beckon.