Location: Terre-de-haut, Les Saintes
Colins gentle nudge wakes me at 2:00AM and I climb out of my bunk to stand my designated anchor watch Silence. I am alone. I place my feet toe-to-heel, diligent as a cat so as not to wake my shipmates sleeping down below. I do a lap around the deck to make sure I am awake. The responsibility of Ocean Star and her crew is mine, and I take pride in this task that is reciprocated by each and every one of my shipmates.
I crawl into my bunk for what seems like 5 minutes before my alarm notifies me that its time to wake the crew. 6:00 a.m. My reggae playlist supplements the collective effort to prepare Ocean Star for passage. Sail covers off. Quarter lifts attached. Salon 40/40. Engine room, check; charthouse, check. Anchor up. Today is different We depart Dominica through a vivid 180 rainbow and make way to Les Saintes. There has been a subtle shift onboard; today the students are taking on more responsibility. I hear Emily giving commands to trim the sails and Robbie guides a group through lowering Irving the dinghy into the water. I learn how to operate the helm as we lift the anchor and maneuver out of the anchorage. We are turning to each other for assistance rather than the staff. I am not alone.
After a smooth 4-hour sail, we arrive at Le Saints with minimal seasickness havoc. The Advanced Open Water divers complete their navigation dive certification and the Rescue divers practice strategies for saving an unconscious diver on the surface. We conclude the day with dinner, accompanied by a pastel sunset and rising crescent moon. Each crew member takes a moment to mention someone or something that they are grateful for on this trip. I am grateful for the sea.