Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia
Its hard to believe that its already day 70 here on Argo. With three weeks left before the trip of a lifetime, each crew member is hustling to complete our semester-long research projects and prepare for all of our upcoming exams. Upon arriving in St. Lucia, settled next to the beautiful Petit Piton, our first day in a new paradise is nothing short of relaxing.
Following breakfast, the morning consisted of a water chemistry and plankton lab. (Dont worry Mom and Dad, Im actually studying, despite all the pictures from the beach.) We had the chance to observe different species of phytoplankton and zooplankton under microscopes. It was interesting being able to connect what weve learned in marine biology and oceanography to what we experienced hands-on. The deck, navigation, and engineering watch teams then had the opportunity to debrief after another day-long passage, led by Argo students rather than the staff.
After a delicious lunch of Mediterranean bowls made by Grace, some Argo crew decided to spend the afternoon napping, while others chose to complete work or go snorkeling around the area. After lunch, we were treated to some music from the nearby party boat dancing to the Cha Cha Slide right beside Argo. For those of us doing work on the charthouse, we were caught by surprise when we heard a bunch of screams coming from the surrounding waterturns out a bunch of stinging hydrozoans was surrounding Argo, and the snorkelers were their victims.
After being treated to a dessert of Barbados cream, we found out that Oceanography class was canceled for the night. Instead, we had the opportunity to go night snorkeling with flashlights. Natalia and I probably couldve been the stars of a comedy show, considering it took us a solid 20 minutes to actually stay in the water and swim to the rest of the snorkelers. It wasnt the most comforting feeling getting into 150 feet of pitch black water before finally making it closer to shore, especially after Ethan had seen a shark that afternoon. It was all worth it when we finally made it to the multitude of corals and sea urchins. Some snorkelers saw an octopus, while others witnessed a fight between a lion fish and an eel. Lindsay used her ultraviolet flashlight to show us some zooplankton suspended in the water and the fluorescing corals. It was an absolutely incredible end to a relaxing day here in St. Lucia.
A big shout out to my family (especially Lauren for threatening me if I didnt specifically say her name) and Ryan who threatened he would break up with me if I didnt say his name either. Miss and love you guys!