Location: Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
Church bells could be heard ringing as the crew awoke to the first sunny morning they had seen in a few days. We had our morning fuel in the form of a banana, coconut, chocolate chip bread, and grapefruits before getting ready for a busy day. Following breakfast, the crew piled into the saloon for Marine Biology, during which they learned about estuarine communities. A couple of these, mangroves and seagrass beds, they had snorkeled through already over the course of the semester and were, therefore, able to put the practical experience into their learning. Passage prep was completed before we pulled anchor and were underway for Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe. The smell of homemade cornbread wafted out of the galley hatch, and the crew’s mouths watered as lunch was served underway. We arrived at the island of Terre-de-Haut in Iles des Saintes mid-afternoon, but only after maneuvering through a maze of fishing pots (there are many fishermen in Guadeloupe). The rest of the afternoon was spent as a welcomed study and free time before showers late afternoon. We were all ecstatic to have a tropical dinner of steak with pineapple, green beans, and assorted other veggies with a delicious homemade sauce on a bed of rice. The most important part of the day, however, was bringing out a cake to celebrate Wallace’s twentieth birthday. The crew could all be heard singing happy birthday as the cake was brought out, and Wallace’s head was donned with a special handmade birthday hat. Following festivities, everyone once again settled down in the saloon for an evening SLS course with Smudge before turning in for the night. Tomorrow we get in the water for the first of our many days of diving to eventually become certified PADI rescue divers!