Location: Portsmouth, Dominica

As the bay we are anchored in for our quarantine here in Dominica can be as flat and smooth as glass, Addisen and I got up early (6 am) to do some freediving practice. Some of the others want to join but sleep won them over. Johnny, who was on anchor watch, also acted as our surface support and watched from the boat. Addisen hopped in, and before I could hit the water, she was off on her first descent to the bottom; she may have an addiction. We got some great dives down to the ocean floor below, where our anchors lay at 12 meters (40 feet), and Addisen has now realized she has the ability to hold her breath for 1 minute and 22 seconds! Super impressive! We were even treated with a squad of squid who was out for an early morning hunt, flashing their colors.

I had to jump out early to wake everyone up, so Addisen stayed in for a few more dives. As I’m in the process of drying off, I see Addisen emerge from the water like the lady of the lake holding Excalibur but with our missing bread knife that fell overboard the other day, yelling proudly, “I found it!” and exclaiming, “and I hit a new record, 13.3 meters!” What a legend.

I headed down to the salon to wake everyone up with the vibrant song Sunny Day by Esoterik and a few other songs by Australian hip-hop artists. The galley crew was already busy getting breakfast ready for everyone. Once we were done with breakfast and clean up, the group moved into Nav Master, where their charting and plotting skills were tested.

Meg and her trusty sous chefs dazzled us with hot dogs and corn dogs for lunch, which was, in all honesty, a breath of fresh air as it hasn’t been done yet on this trip. Once lunch was devoured, and the deck was clean, Liam and Max took over Oceanography and presented the topics they covered for their Lit Reviews. Max talked about the predatory fish decline, and Liam covered Fisheries.

The group then began to get ready for more Rescue course practice. The main focus of this session was practicing rescue breaths and equipment removal on an unconscious diver at the surface. We had some hilarious rescue breathe attempts where I would say, “get close enough that the victim could lick your cheek,” and Grady decided to test this out on his rescuer, poor Celia. We almost had a few rescuers disappear to the depths during their rescue as they forgot to take off their weight belt until their BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) was already removed. When it was Topher’s turn to recuse Julian, and they were getting ready, Julian casually explained, “I will die for you,” and flopped forward in the water. Katie also added some drama by dying in a rather extravagant way. Fortunately, everyone lived.

To finish off the day, Meg and the team produced an awesome taco casserole, and our squeeze question was “would you rather eat a salad for every meal for the rest of your life or listen to the same album from Celine Dion at every meal for the rest of your life.” Needless to say, there is only one right answer…

Salad. Definitely not Celine Dion, and I’m making sure everyone who thinks otherwise changes their mind… by playing the same album at every meal for the rest of the trip.

Anywho, now everyone is relaxing in the salon or in their bunks, except Addisen, who is standing right next to me again, like she always does. Every. Single. Night.

Goodbye for now, until next time, from Ash…. and Addisen, I suppose.

1. Selfie whilst waiting for dinner
2. All the girls in their bunks
3. View from the top of the mast
4. Also a view
5. And another view
6. Keaton, Julian, and Tophs
7. Keaton, Meg, and Liam
8. Meg, our Chef
9. Keaton and Sam
10. Julian’s back after being so vigilant on the sunscreen for so long and missing it once
11. Grady and Johnny having a moment
12. Practicing in water rescues
13. Selfie in the companionway with Katie
14. Addisen
15. Liam
16. Dishie Pit
17. Sam and Topher scrubbing the deck
18. Addisen and Topher working hard
19. Sam and Henry doing a deck scrub
20. Meg and Henry laughing at something funny, I assume
21. Hotdogs!!!
22. Lunch
23. Steve