Location: Young Island, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

We had a busy day on Ocean Star as we all eagerly awaited our Covid-19 test results. Our day started with some delicious pancakes and berries prepared by our chef team: Ruth-Riley, Mike, and Steve. Most of the shipmates woke up early to study for their Marine Biology exam, which everyone took right after breakfast. The weather has cleared up for us, and we have had a beautiful day. After the weather cleared yesterday, everyone has been eager to get back in the water for a fun dive. One of our divemaster (DM) trainees, Zoe, then took Julia, Luke, Ben, and Will out for the morning dive around Young Island. Ash and Kiara joined the divers to finish up Kiara’s Advanced Open Water (AOW) diver course with her deep dive. Congratulations, Kiara, our newest AOW diver!

Ruth-Riley, Mike, and Steve cooked us a fresh lunch of veggie kabobs and couscous with currants. The shipmates and I all then went on to our Navigation Master course in Seamanship. We were able to put some of our new theoretical knowledge about variation between true north, magnetic north, and what a ship’s compass reads, along with the relationship between speed, distance, and time, into practice with several practice problems. Our second dive group then rushed out to hop into the water and check out our new dive site. Calum led Zac, Ruth-Riley, Margeaux, Sophie, and Mike on this dive with the help of another DM, Isabel.

As the skipper, it was my responsibility today to delegate tasks to the shipmates to prepare for our passage to St. Lucia tonight. While our second group of divers were out, a few of the shipmates helped get sail covers off, the tarp down, jack lines run, and their bunks 40/40. We were still awaiting our Covid-19 test results but assuming the best!

After the dive, it was time to focus on some of our divemaster training and catch a few rescue divers up. Ash and I dropped below the boat with Margeaux, Sophie, Zac, and Kiara to work on their missing diver exercise. Zoe acted as our missing diver and swam just out of view. Our four divers split up into buddy pairs to search for our missing diver. The DM’s then all stayed on the bottom with Ash and me to do their gear exchange. For this exercise, Zoe, Isabel, and Calum had to exchange gear with another diver (fins, mask, BCD, and tank) while buddy breathing. Buddy breathing involves two divers breathing off of one regulator – so one diver taking two breaths, passing the regulator off to their buddy, who takes two breaths, and so on. This exercise helps to show our DMs can adapt to unusual circumstances underwater.

We once again received good news from the St. Vincent Department of Health that all of our tests came back negative! We are all excited and relieved that our trip can continue as planned (for a couple more days at least). We enjoyed a yummy dinner of pesto pasta with chicken and enjoyed brownies to celebrate Sophie’s birthday! We cleaned up and quickly finished up what remained of our passage prep.

Now, we are off to St. Lucia.

Photo 1: Ben laying out jack lines for passage prep
Photo 2: The shipmates taking their Marine Biology exam
Photo 3: Mike and Margeaux
Photo 4: Will and Zoe enjoying lunch
Photo 5: Xonel having the best time during passage prep
Photo 6: Isa prepping for our passage
Photo 7: Calum teaching us all about compass error