Location: Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe
Today was one of my favorite days so far on this trip. We started the day off with our second navigation class with Tor and Nick. We learned about Earth’s magnetic field, compasses and how they work, how to work out compass corrections, and how to find our position using only a compass and a chart. We learned how to use a hand-bearing compass to take three separate lines of position on three different land features to come up with a 3-point position fix. Once we finished our navigation class, we jumped right into preparing the good ship Ocean Star for the sea. It was time to sail to Guadeloupe. This was our second full student-led passage. It is truly amazing to see the progression that our students have made. Just 52 days ago, many of them had never sailed a boat, let alone an 88ft classic schooner. And today, we saw them prepare, navigate, sail and anchor to a new island…completely unassisted!! On the next passage, we will navigate solely with a paper chart and no GPS, just like the old salts used to do!
As soon as we got our sails up and set our course, we had the fishing lines in the water. Not even 5 minutes later, we heard people yelling, ‘FISH ON!!!!’ It was Austen’s turn with the rod, and he carefully encouraged the Yellow Fin Tuna to swim to the boat. It was a nice fat one, and we filleted right then and began to eat what is literally the freshest sushi possible. Another 30 minutes went by before we heard the wonderful yells of ‘FISH ON!!!’ again. This time it was on the hand line, and Caroline was up to wrangle this one in. As it came close, we realized it was a massive barracuda, which Caroline was stoked about. She finally got her revenge on the Barracuda!!!!!!
We continued our wicked sail up the beautiful coast of Guadeloupe until we found Pigeon Island, where we dropped our hook for the evening. Home at last. Pigeon Island is one of Jacques Cousteau’s old stomping grounds, as this was one of his favorite places to dive back in the day. Because of this, we are watching The Life Aquatic tonight! We are stoked for tomorrow because we will be able to get in and dive this site…rumor has it that there is even a statue of the man himself underwater!