Location: Norman Islands

We had an early start this morning as we boated toward the shore, ready to explore two nearby salt ponds, on the lookout for native bird species. After many successful sightings, the group began a trek up the slope of the island, determined to reach the top where we saw the most amazing view of the nearby islands, the ocean waves, and our new home–the Ocean Star–nestled into the harbor below. Later, the birding continued. While we cruised about the shore of the island, keeping an eye out for nesting pelicans, we spotted a cave in the rocky hills and jumped out of the boats to play in the shallow waters. After lunch aboard the ship, we cranked out a few chapters of PADI training, to prepare for the upcoming diving lessons that we are all so eager to begin. Though jellyfish warnings kept us out of the water for the rest of the day, we were all able to enjoy some free time hanging out onboard–soaking up the sun, reading, and getting to know all of our new shipmates and friends all the better.