Location: Cocoa Point, Barbuda

Day 70 began just as it should: a slow wake-up rolling right into avocado toast AND cereal. Ben was head chef today and hit it home once again with breakfast, the perfect thing we needed to begin our day full of testing. Day 70 does not only mean 10 days left here on Ocean Star, but also Nav Master exams. The Nav Master exam is a three-hour-long exam testing our charting skills. Despite the looming test, morale was high this morning after stuffing ourselves with as much sugary cereal and bread as we possibly could. The number of Lucky Charms bowls (my favorite of the cereal options) averaged around 3 per person, and the two very large boxes were completely empty by the end of the morning. Right after clean-up, we moved swiftly into the exams. Because the charts are so massive, we had to spread out across all 88 feet of Ocean Star, and even then, we had to split into groups. Only two groups went this morning, and the last will go tomorrow morning. If you were not taking the test, you had time to do work as long as it was quiet. Most people took the morning block to nap because we were so exhausted after the marathon of cereal bowls we had this morning. Then Ben and his sous chefs (Riley and Steve) served up some homemade bread for sandwiches. Lunch was relaxed and quiet because some people were still testing, and others were crashing after their sugar high. We then moved into the second round of testing. Chief, Riley, and Sophie jumped in for a swim with the remoras that have found a home next to our boat. They are a welcome replacement from the tarpon, who usually populate the waters around the boat. The group studying biofouling (Julia, Zoe, Margeaux, Kiara, and Sophie) was ecstatic about this because one attached itself to the square they were studying and quickly rose through the ranks to become the most interesting piece of data they have. The rest of us spent some time getting work done. About halfway through, we (Chief, Sophie, Isabel, Luke, Xonel, Jukuma, Mike, Chief, Margeaux, and I) got restless and decided to swim to the beach. The boat traffic is low, so we didn’t have to worry about that on our swim, but we did have to keep an eye out for the seaplane traffic. Once we arrived at the beach, we floated in the rolling crystal blue waves. On land, the sand was perfect for making sand balls which inevitably turned into a sand ball fight. Our fight was interrupted by the tank-boat that took people from shore through the water to the seaplane. We went back around sunset, swimming in an ocean coated in golden rays. Ben, Riley, and Steve made coconut rice with chicken and veggies for dinner. It was delicious, as always. Tonight we are celebrating everyone who has taken nav master passing the test with a night dive. They have just headed to the reefs, and I am ready to head to bed, so, blog, this is our final goodbye. It has been fun; goodnight.

picture 1 – everyone ready for their swim to the beach
Picture 2 – seaplane
picture 3 – remoras
picture 4 – Chief wearing a coconut bra
picture 5 – Riley in the water
picture 6 – Sophie swimming
picture 7 – Chief free diving on the anchor chain
picture 8 – Will working
picture 9 – Sophie taking nav master
picture 10 – Zoe getting ready for nav master
picture 11 – Will, Kiara, and Jodie ready for their night dive
picture 12 – Julia sitting on Riley