Location: Falmouth, Antigua

As usual, the day started at 7 am with music blaring through the saloon. As people rose, they made their way up on deck to take in the views of Falmouth Harbor early in the morning for one last time. Breakfast was a Steve specialty- yogurt, fruit, and granola. After breakfast, everyone gathered below deck to kickstart the academic day; We began with hearing Steve elaborate on the myriad of micro-organisms found in the ocean. When our first lecture of the day was over-and after our short break- we got our first briefing on various lines and sails on deck. This was a much-needed rundown, seeing as tomorrow we set sail on our first day sail of the trip. After a thorough explanation from Brahm on how to raise each sail properly as well as how to stay safe on deck when underway, we had lunch. Today it was a delicious spread of sandwich fixins: deli meats, vegetables, condiments, and chips. As soon as we finished lunch and cleaned up, we headed back down below deck for our first student-led leadership class. Max presented on what it meant to be a leader, as well as kickstarted multiple lively conversations- borderline debates- on what leadership meant to each of us and what we thought made a good leader. When our hour-long session seemingly flew by, we began to prep our equipment for a dive. Seeing as everyone has completed their open water certifications, we were able to take today’s dive as an opportunity to observe the abundance of marine life living just meters away from the vessel. Once everyone had returned from the dive, it was time to prepare dinner- however, Steve had already prepped and began to cook our food for the night. As expected, Steve nailed it! Dinner was another specialty of Steve’s: chicken thighs baked with vegetables and served with rice… truly a masterpiece. After dinner was eaten and cleaned up, we began our final prep for our day of sailing tomorrow- we had to remove all the tarps from the sails and make sure that everything was secure on deck. The night concluded with everybody relaxing in the saloon, chatting, playing games, and naturally, nodding off. We have a lot to look forward to tomorrow- our first real day of sailing, as well as Valentine’s Day treat of chocolate strawberries and cake. Unfortunately, we have just wrapped up day nine of the trip, which means that tomorrow marks 1/8 of the trip done already. However unfortunate, we still have much to look forward to!

1. Sunrise on Falmouth Harbour
2. Brahm showing us the Flying Jib Halyard
3 and 4 and 5. Us practicing our line sweating, hoisting Sam into the air
6. Max giving his leadership presentation
7 and 8. Dinner on the S/Y Ocean Star