Location: Gustavia, St. Barth

Today began with a typical 7 am wake up for the Ocean Star crew. However, the breakfast provided was anything but typical. Green and pink waffles were served for breakfast by Will and Hunter. Their reasoning, you ask? While making the batter the evening before, in their late-night daze, it seemed a good idea to have green waffles for the gluten-free students, and pink for everyone else. They were supposed to be red and blue, but our limited food coloring supply only went so far. Afterward, with full stomachs, the crew had two classes. Oceanography came first, where we learned about climate change, emissions of greenhouse gasses, and the effects they can have on the ocean. Afterward, we revisited overfishing and aquaculture when we watched a short informational video on a new design for fish farming in the open ocean. Next, we had a seamanship class. We were called on deck abruptly to respond to an “emergency scenario” where we were to pretend we were lost. Using only a magnetic compass, a chart, a plotter, and a pencil, we were told to perform a triangulation to determine our location. It was difficult, but after a few tries, we got it down. This practice was not only good practice for our upcoming Nav-master exam; soon, we will be in charge of planning and conducting our own passages. It seems daunting now, but with practice, I really think this crew will rise to the challenge. After class, the crew headed to shore for free time and lunch at the restaurant of their choosing. However, after lunch, we were met with a surprise – Saint Bart’s literally shuts down on Sundays. NOTHING was open. That didn’t stop the crew, though; we made our own fun. We walked around town, and some of us split off to see the oldest tree on the island, while others went to a beach made of shells known as “Shell Beach.” Still, others, being sunburned from surfing and tired from the heat, decided to stop for smoothies and coffee in the shade. After returning to the boat, we had a less colorful but still delicious meal: an Italian pasta bake. Now, as the crew cleans up, we prepare to watch Blackfish. It’s a documentary about marine mammals in captivity. Coupled with this, we will read counter-argument articles to prepare for a debate on mammal captivity on Day 66.

It’s hard to believe there are only 17 days left, but we still have a lot to learn, a lot to accomplish, and many sights to see. I think the best days are still ahead of us, and the opportunities to grow and learn are plentiful. Until we see you all back home again, we look forward to updating you on the newest experiences and lessons learned here at Ocean Star. Sleep well, and have a great night.

— Abby