Location: Great Harbour, Peter Island
This morning the new crew of Ocean Star awoke to easy-going acoustic guitar and reggae beats drifting through the speakers. Coming up on deck and adjusting to their new surroundings, we broke into the various roles assigned to us by our job wheel for the first time and setting up the tarp and enjoying a simple breakfast of cereal before starting our first real day of the program. We began by reviewing the different policies of the trip, and the students began learning about their personal flotation devices, which they were to be using shortly. After topping off Ocean Stars fuel tanks and a quick demonstration on dock line handling, Ocean Star drifted off the dock, motored out of West End, and we officially began our journey! Taking a minute to lift our dinghy, Irving onto the deck, we continued the short passage to Great Harbour on Peter Island through the Sir Francis Drake Channel, enjoying lunch while taking in the scenery of the islands of the BVI and USVI rising from crystal blue waters. After a brief intro into boat terminology by Cooper, our First Mate, the shipmates helped to pick up the mooring ball on which well be spending the night. Once the boat was put away and deck organized, everyone eagerly jumped into the cool water for a swim test, which consisted of a couple of laps around the boat, followed by treading water. Immediately following the test, the crew had their first true ocean shower. After a delicious dinner of Sloppy Joes, mashed potatoes and corn, those starting their open water course headed to the salon for their first lectures, and our two rescue students began their course in the chart house. The rest of us stayed up on deck, getting to know one another and enjoying the cool breeze. Well all be heading to bed soon as the first anchor watch of the trip begins, and the students take turns watching over the boat throughout the night. Tomorrow will be a new adventure for us as we raise sail for the first time and head to Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda, and our new divers in training take their first breath underwater!