Location: Samantha Richmond

Today we woke up to the lovely wafting scent of warm chocolate chip pancakes prepared to perfection by Brendan, Sara, and Amanda. Afterward, everyone stuffed themselves to the brim. Britt, Laurie, and I took the open water divers out to finally complete their certification. Everyone did a fantastic job, and we were lucky enough to be surrounded by an endless array of colorful coral and some pretty cool critters too; turtles, parrotfish, rays, angelfish, and many, many more. After lunch, the four advanced divers went out for a dive while Laurie and I went down to work on divemaster skills. Finally, to end the days diving activities, I led my first dive with the newly certified open water guys. While there has been a lot to cover, I find that being around such a great group of people and instructors who are so genuinely excited about furthering their skills and sharing their knowledge has helped motivate me to remain engaged and enthusiastic about my DM training. The decadent crepes and Gelato of St. Barths are sorely missed. However, with just about a week left until the conclusion of the trip, it is quite nice to be out on the water again. Out on the big blue, Ocean Star has a special serenity to it that twists any sense of time. Rocking slightly staring up at the stars on the deck at night humbles and shrinks you like nothing else I have ever experienced. There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gentle stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneathjust another day in paradise.