Location: Mountain Point, British Virgin Islands

Today is the final day Ocean Star will be anchored at Mountain Point, but not necessarily the end of shenanigans regarding charter catamarans with questionable sailing practices. Fortunately, there has been an amazing amount of marine life to see under the boat to keep us all entertained. This included the likes of tarpon, yellowtail snappers, bar jacks, baitfish, moon jellies, and comb jellies (they’re all harmless, dear parents) that have been accumulating under the boat. As part of my Divemaster training, I led one of the open water dive groups out at the rocks towards the end of Mountain Point earlier today and stumbled across a sleeping nurse shark; probably the culmination of my expectations being exceeded by the reef system here, on top of finding numerous rare/endangered species like Diadema antillarum, flamingoes’ tongues, eel larvae, strange crabs I never knew existed, staghorn coral, enormous hermit crabs, a yellow-striped moray, and schools of reef squid. Also, the structure of the reef here is unlike any other I’ve seen before, built mostly on solid basaltic rock, fashioned in its typical smooth, geometric columns. Paired with the colorful, branching, ordered chaos of hard and soft corals, this makes for an otherworldly underwater environment.

The open water dive students completed their final test and skill work to become certified scuba divers today, and I look forward to diving with them for the rest of our trip. In addition, today was the first day in which we learned how to begin raising the foresail and practiced CPR on dummies. Tomorrow, everyone is looking forward to sailing to our next destination for the first time, a short trip just around to the other side of Virgin Gorda, where we’ll be snorkeling in the mangrove forests.

– Michael Gibson