Location: Galleon Bay, Antigua
After a very warm and exciting first night on anchor (including our first round of anchor watches), the student crew had a slightly harder time getting out of bed this morning. The exceptions to this rule were a few open water students (Riley, Iz, and Julia), who were studying their diving books before breakfast. Steve served us a fulfilling breakfast of granola, fruit, and yogurt, which was accompanied by our first Caribbean rainstorm. Thankfully, this rain was actually quite welcome because we all needed some cooling off. Breakfast was finished with a beautiful rainbow overhead. Afterward, those diving learned or reviewed how to set up their dive gear. After quite a process, the certified divers giant-strode into the water for their check-out dive. Everyone (even Sophie, who hadn’t dived in 6 years) passed all the skills with flying colors. Ash and Calum saw an octopus but all of the students, myself included, were completely oblivious to its existence. While we were diving, the open water students finished their videos and knowledge reviews so that they could start their first dive this afternoon!
After a great lunch of sandwiches and leftovers, Ash and Adalaide briefed the open water students on their first dive. They got all of their kits successfully loaded into the dinghies and motored over to a shallow patch of seagrass to walk through their first dive skills. All of the students had a great time taking their first breaths underwater and are even more excited for future dives! After about three hours in the shallows with scorching sun, we returned to Ocean Star and rinsed and disassembled the kit. We returned ten minutes before dinner time, but most of us still managed to take an Ocean Star shower (jump in, lather, jump in, rinse with fresh water for 30 seconds). Then, we gobbled up Steve’s delicious dinner (roast chicken and Yorkshire puddings with many roast veggies and veggie burgers for those inclined). My squeeze question of the evening was: What animal would you like to be in this very moment? Ash wants to be a penguin, Kiara and Calum would like to be giraffes, and Zach wants to be an elephant and drink from his nose. I would like to be an albatross and fly across some oceans after many months of quarantine. To my family and friends reading this, I am having a wonderful time, and I miss you all dearly.
1 – Hard-working open water students (ft. Isabel, Iz not pictured)
2-4 – Hard-working gophers getting breakfast on deck
5 – Margeaux was not enjoying the torrential downpour (ft. Iz)
6 – Double rainbow! (Captured by Steve)
7 – Gophers and Steward (Sophie and Isabel) hard at work in the galley
8 – Adelaide demonstrating how to assemble a dive kit
9 – Zach retrieving dive gear from the bow
10 – Ben, Kiara, and Will waiting for lunch
11 – Group photo
12 – Eagerly awaiting dinner
13 – We are all loving our new home!