Location: Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda

Today was a rare day in the Caribbean- a rainy day. But we eagerly took full advantage of filling the day with activities. We spent the morning introducing all the exciting lessons and labs we will encounter over the semester in our science classes; Oceanography and Marine Biology. After a warming lunch of quesadillas, the sun peaked out from behind the clouds providing the opportunity to stretch our legs onshore for a hike. We enjoyed vistas over Gorda Sound and snapped some shots of our beloved Ocean Star tranquility sitting in the water. Then, the rain started again, but we were still all smiles as we carefully made our way down the muddy slopes to complete the hike. Back on board, the shipmates warmed up, and we all curled up to watch a video for Basic Seamanship class about Irving Johnson, the founder of the school ship concept. I find the story of Irv, and his wife, Exy (whom we fondly have named our dinghies after), to be fascinating and inspiring. As a couple, they traveled around the world 7 times from the 1930s-50s, each time with a new group of students keen to learn how to crew the ship; all the while exploring foreign cultures, and often, uncharted waters (Irv and his crew took it upon themselves to take depth soundings to create charts for these areas, which were in turn used by the Navy). After a fun-packed day and a delicious dinner, Casey and I presented a slideshow of common reef fish that the shipmates will encounter on their SCUBA dives throughout the Caribbean. After looking at all the amazing creatures that we will spy underwater, I think we are all anxious to jump in the water and start exploring! Though the forecast calls for rain again tomorrow, we know we will be so busy that there won’t be any rainy day blues!