Location: Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
Hi students, parents, friends, and family at home!
Today was a really fun and relaxing day in Antigua. We have had some scattered rain showers here recently, but it was sunny and beautiful this morning when I got up around 7 am. Lolo and I had the chance to go DIVING this morning, which was such a great way to start our day. She has been diving a lot this past week, but it was to clean the anchor chain, check the zincs, and polish the propellorworking dives, but dives nonetheless. Anyway, today we went on a fun dive at the mouth of Falmouth Harbor. We haven’t been fun diving since Dominica. (Y’all remember that?? What a great day!) Antigua has been on a 24-hour curfew for almost three weeks now, but activities like water sports and jogging are permitted from 07:00-12:00 each day. Today on our dive, we saw some tiny moray eels, several fish having a buffet meal on a recently deceased sea urchin, some African pompano, and a spotted eagle ray! Friends and parents, if you don’t know what a spotted eagle ray looks like, go look it up right now! They are some of my favorite animals. He/she glided by us about halfway through the dive, and then at the very end of the dive, we saw him/her again, and he/she was digging in the sand for his/her breakfast! These rays have mouths on the underside of their bodies, and they look in the sand for crustaceans and mollusks to eat. This one even had a large remora clinging to his/her belly, hoping to catch some crumbs. He/she came super close to us with his/her grumpy looking face and then swam away. His/her tail was almost 2 meters long! What a treat to see our underwater friends today.
We thankfully had the chance to go grocery shopping a few days ago (Thanks Sash!), so we had some fresh and tasty vegetables to make some new recipes with. Today, I tried making homemade quiche by myself for the first time. It’s admittedly pretty tricky to make a crust on Ocean Star because we can’t freeze the butter, we don’t have ice water, and we don’t have a cool surface to roll it out on. However, the quiches turned out very tasty, and I served it with a fresh salad with homemade dressing. The quiches were filled with zucchini and feta, and one had bacon, and one had a tomato. We are vegetarian friendly on this boat! Actually, it’s been pretty difficult to find fresh meat at the stores over the last few weeks, so except for bacon and the guys’ favorite sausages, we have all been primarily vegetarian.
One thing that I look forward to each day is our chance to appreciate the essential workers here in Antigua. I know many places have been recognizing them with applause, music, or other methods, but here in Antigua, we do something a bit different. Every day at 18:00, all of the boats in the marina (and there are a LOT) honk their horns in a chorus of appreciation and recognition. It is quite something to hear the many tones of hundreds of boats all blowing their horns at once. It’s been my job almost every night to toot our mighty horn at the designated time. It gives me a lot of joy and a feeling of appreciation each time I get to do it.
We miss all of the students, and it’s hard to believe that the Marine Biology final exam was today. The Oceanography final exam and Leadership final essay are next! The semester is coming to a close quickly, and our evenings will just not be the same without our daily virtual squeeze. Stay safe, everyone!
Pictured: Diving memories from Dominica and the quiches I made today!