Location: Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Today was our first day underwater since the BVI, and all of us — especially our newly-certified open water divers — were stoked to get back in and check out Bequia’s underwater scenery.

Our first dive of the advanced open water course happened in the morning on a little tug wreck just outside of Admiralty Bay. A favorite of Sea|Mester students and staff throughout the years, the little tug is home to all kinds of marine life. The tug sits in about 60ft of water, and today the viz was phenomenal; the whole thing was easily spotted from the surface in the bright morning sunshine.

The tug is encrusted in hard and soft corals, most notable among them the black branching corals that wave to and fro from its topsides in the current and surge. Currents can race around the point near the tug wreck, but today’s dives were relatively calm, letting us explore the site in peace. We swam through the seagrass at first, hunting for morays, shrimp, and crabs before checking out the schools of yellow goatfish and red snapper hanging beneath the overhang provided by the hull. We found a scorpionfish camouflaged in the sand beneath the prop shaft and bearded fireworms crawling all along the hull. The top of the wreck is one of my favorite parts. Surge was sending schools of French grunt back and forth through the hold of the wreck like watching a video clip on boomerang. The handrails along the wheelhouse dripped with colorful soft corals while hundreds and hundreds of baby brown Chromis swirled like glitter in the sunlight. On the bow, the massive windlass is completely overgrown with miniature brains and star corals.

The tug wreck never disappoints!

After a delicious lunch prepared by Alex and Matt (with only a small mishap involving a lid to the black pepper shaker that wasn’t quite screwed on all the way), the students dinghied ashore for a quick jaunt ashore for ice cream and wifi. Alex had Oceanography at 3 pm during which students were back aboard to start learning about the Coriolis Effect. Shower time and a delicious West Indian curry dinner followed. Now students are headed down below to study for their upcoming midterms. Hard to believe it’s already that time — and crazy to think that we’ll be past the halfway mark when I write my next skipper’s blog.

PS: Hi, mom and dad. Love you!