Location: English Harbour, Antigua

Today began with a 7 am wakeup and a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and fresh fruit prepared by chefs Alex and Matt. After cleanup, we all mustered together in the salon to talk through the student handbook and program policies. After a short break, we met back up for vessel walkthroughs, during which the student crew split into three groups and rotated through the galley/salon, chart house/engine room, and deck to get a more in-depth introduction to their new home. We had some free time to relax before lunch during which some more bunk organizing and Uno playing was done.

After we had our fill of rotisserie chicken & hummus pita pockets, the students joined our two marine scientists, Alex and Steve, on a short hike to the tidepools above a rock formation called Pillars of Hercules. The Pillars got their name because of the vertical striations carved into the windward rock face from wave action over time. They’re a great place to start thinking about wave action, intertidal zones, and reef communities … plus it’s a great excuse to go for a swim!

After returning from the hike, the students were all smiles on the way to Nelson’s Dockyard where they had some shore time. The dockyard is full of historical buildings that have been repurposed into cafes, restaurants, and even a sail loft. While some students wandered around and imagined what it would have been like to be a part of a naval shipyard in the 1700s, others sped off to rummage for snacks at the local grocery store or get in touch with their friends and families.

The early evening hours were spent showering, continuing to unpack, and journaling about the day’s events. Alex and Matt cooked up a delicious taco night dinner which we devoured. Tonight we’re going to learn about our Type I and Type V PFDs with Carolyn in preparation for tomorrow’s departure. Afterward,the students will have their first introductory academic class. We’re all looking forward to getting off the dock tomorrow and putting up Ocean Star’s sails for the first time this semester. Wish us fair winds and following seas!