Location: Underway to the British Virgin Islands
This morning began underneath the mountainous terrain of Saba, an island that closely resembles something out of Jurassic Park. We had a quick breakfast of an awesome egg bake prepared by Will and Hunter, and we set off to experience some of Saba’s greatest sights, most of which happen to be underwater. Having been declared a marine park since 1987, the reefs and incredible underwater topography of Saba’s surrounding waters make for some of the best diving in the Caribbean. We met the dive operators of Sea Saba in Fort Bay and went out on their boat to our first sight called Twilight Zone. The site was appropriately named. As we descended the mooring line to a depth of 90ft, the best visibility of the semester revealed the submerged seamounts and surrounding benthic areas, which made you feel like you were in another universe. During our safety stop on our way to the surface, we were visited by a massive sea turtle that took an interest in our students, coming in for a much closer look. We spent our surface interval en route to another site on Saba’s windward side, which we were only able to dive because it was sheltered from the north swell. This was a much shallower and leisurely dive around a beautiful reef. Saba is known for its sharks, and everyone was excited about the possibility of seeing one. We were not disappointed as our guide pointed out the tail of a nurse shark sticking out from underneath a small ledge. After surfacing, the dive boat stopped next to Ocean Star to make for quicker dinghy trips. After lunch, the students went in for Marine Bio and Leadership class before starting passage prep for our last long/overnight passage. With Ian leading the passage, the shipmates raised the hook, and we turned toward an awesome sunset and the BVI. We got onto watch in the middle of the night, and under the stars, we couldn’t help feeling that it was nice to be heading home.