Location: Falmouth, Antigua

Not that any day on Ocean Star ever lacks in activity but today was destined to be a particularly busy one. Rather than my usual putting on of music and hanging out with students as they get up and ready, I threw my speaker into the salon, shouted a good morning and kept on running.

After yesterdays afternoon racing practice, everyone had sore muscles and raw hands but a strong sense of purpose. We each had to learn the positions we would be in on day two of racing. Steve had plotted another race course for us on the chart plotter and drawn a diagram on the whiteboard so after a brief muster in the cockpit, we hauled anchor and got underway. The first time we ever raised all five sails as a crew, it took us well over an hour, today we had shaved that time down to 25 minutes. Sails set, we made our way to Steves start line and made our way tacking and jibing around the course. Even after just one day of race practice, everyone already seemed more in tune with what needed to happen and with each other. Communication had gotten better, tacking echoing up and down the deck to confirm they had understood the helmsmans command, pass jibs! passing jibs! could be heard as we set off on our new course.

Checking my watch, glancing at the chart plotter finish line, I concluded we had made it around the course just in time. In time for what? In time to drop sails faster than we ever had. In time to get on the dock. In time to unload our dinghies and dive gear and anchors. Students and staff worked hard to clear the deck of any unnecessary gear that might get in the way while racing. They flaked sails, put on covers and coiled lines to make the boat look tidy and professional amongst the other pristine classic yachts we docked amidst. And finally, in time to finalize and practice the sea shanty Mari had written for us to perform during the Sea Shanty Competition that night. Though we were outdone in dress by our costumed competitors, I think we wrote the best original.

The day hasnt ended yet, so I better go help unload and stow the bags and bags of groceries our chief provisioner just got back with. Thank you for your faithful readership and wish us luck tomorrow for our first day of racing!