Location: Gustavia, St. Barth's

Today began as it always seems to here in the islands – A gorgeous sunrise, a cool southeasterly breeze, and the groans of sixteen sleepy teenagers not quite ready to get out of bed. Not to worry, before long, pancakes were on deck, and we were lathering them with syrup, peanut butter, and fresh fruit as we wiped the sleep from our eyes and prepared for the day’s adventures. Promptly after breakfast and clean up, the open-water divers went to work setting up their gear yet again, this time for their final dive as open-water students. That’s right; as of today, every person on Ocean Star is a certified diver! After the morning dive, we all had some free time to explore the many boutiques and shops of this little island, taking advantage of our last opportunity to buy souvenirs before we leave for Saba. After lunch, we met back on the boat to finish up the Emergency First Responder class. Jess taught everyone how to assess a victim for illnesses and injuries, bandage wounds, splint broken bones, and all sorts of other nifty tricks for fixing people up. Then, to their surprise, the students came up on deck to find that I had fallen from the mast, Lawre had fallen and passed out next to the propane, and Captain Kevin was hysterical after stabbing a tool through his hand. Of course, it was all simulated, but amid all the fake blood and phenomenal acting, the students got to test out their new skills and maybe even have a little fun at it. Once we were all patched up, it was back down below for sailing class. Just when they thought the class would never end, they were out again for a little more free time, showers, a hearty dinner of shepherd’s pie expertly prepared by Ian, Rose, and Julia, then straight into preparations for our first-night dive, where we are going to use our new UV lights to observe coral fluorescence! The days here are long and action-packed, but that’s just how we like it. We’re not here for long, but we soak up every minute and take in every experience. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!