Location: Barbuda

As we sleepily climbed on deck this morning, we found that the chefs had prepared our captain’s favorite breakfast: beans on cheese on toast. Our British contingent was psyched for the tastes of home. While we enjoyed breakfast, we reminisced about the awesome evening we had last night. For many of us, our beach cookout under palm trees at sunset ended with a twilight swim. The lights of Falmouth Harbour were reflected in the water around us, but brighter still were the blazing stars. Aaron and I gave an impromptu lesson on finding the Big Dipper and the North Star (not the brightest star in the sky!) as we all floated in the warm sea. Meteors streaked above, but cooler still was the light show around us; bioluminescent plankton lit up with every movement of our hands and feet. That hour we spent in the water will definitely be one of the top memories of the trip. But that was last night.

What adventures would today hold? Right after breakfast, we brought our shoes on board and cast off our dock lines. We took Ocean Star across the harbor to her fuel dock, and while her tanks were getting topped up, shipmates fueled up on sodas and chocolate for our day sail. Motoring out of English Harbour, shipmates had one last glimpse back at the places that will become their memories–historic Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley Heights, and the Pillars of Hercules. Goodbye Antigua! Outside the harbor, we raised five of our six sails, turned off the engine, and set our course for Barbuda, Antigua’s sister island. Chefs Jess and Tor braved the galley underway, making us delicious chicken pitas.

Following lunch, Kris challenged the shipmates to estimate our time of arrival into Barbuda using only a piece of bread, a watch, a calculator, and a few facts (like one nautical mile = 6076 feet). Everyone laughed as they threw the bread off the bow and timed how long it took to cross the stern. Though some were a little rusty in their conversions, all the groups came up with an arrival time estimate that turned out to be correct within an hour. Watch Team Three took care of Ocean Star for the majority of the passage and were the first to spot the flat island of Barbuda off in the distance. Bow-Watcher Dave also spotted a sea turtle from his position at the front of the boat. Our speed was over 7 knots for much of the sail, and we were able to drop sails and anchor just in time for dinner. Pink skies and puffy clouds surrounded us as we ate and cleaned up. Now shipmates are in the salon as Tor teaches them Secondary Care, the final portion of their Emergency First Responder certification. Tomorrow’s agenda is fun and games, literally, with a little bit of science mixed in (the best kind of fun). Until then, good night from Ocean Star!