Location: Direction Island, Cocos Keeling Islands

Today was another fantastic day ashore on Direction Island! This morning, everyone started out with a delicious breakfast of pumpkin muffins as we watched Eric swim with seven very curious but docile, blacktip reef sharks. The sharks had been circling the boat for the past few days and had been checking us out. They gave Eric a playful nudge or two that promptly sent him bolting his way back to the swim ladder. It was quite an entertaining breakfast. After clean-up, the majority of the group shuttled into the island earlier for some snorkeling and free time ashore. Lindsay facilitated the snorkel of the rip just off the reef on the south side of the island, a fast-moving current that allows you to drift past a lovely reef at high speeds, almost like a carnival ride. At 1 PM, we all met back up for Tina’s mysterious Leadership Challenge Course. It turned out to be a Pirate-themed scavenger hunt across the entire island with our watch teams. Tina, Lindsay, and Carolyn had spread themselves out and challenged us to undo the human knot, line ourselves upon a fallen palm in height order (without falling off!), and cross a harrowing gorge (read: small beach) by standing only on coconuts. The final clue was a map with “X marks the spot,” which gave us the location of the heart of Davy Jones (Ben), which we had to return to him in return for our fair share of the treasure (candy). It was a fun experience, and we all certainly got our exercise! One last hurrah with our old watch teams before we switch for our next passage.