Location: Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

When everyone woke up this morning, I don’t think anyone expected the day to end the way it did. But we’ll get to that. The day started how most days aboard OceanStar start, with a chef or two in the galley preparing breakfast, people sitting on the deck with their morning coffee, a few working on something at the salon benches, or fast asleep still. Today, before 7 am, Ben was up on deck doing ben things with no shirt, Julia was down in the salon making coffee for a few people, Will was filling out his dive logbook, and Zoe was in the galley baking an incredible batch of banana bread for everyone. The music choice from me this morning was a mix of Xavier Rudd, an Aussie artist with some awesome didgeridoo, G. Love, and Special Sauce, a Philadelphian group with some laid-back vibes, and Rush, a classic.

After breakfast and finalizing some dive paperwork, the group split, with one half going on a dive and the other half worked on their cards to each other. The morning dive included Luke, Will, Sophie, Adelaide, and Steve with Isabel, one of our Divemaster’s in training, taking the lead. This group was lucky enough to see a stingray, an eagle ray, a turtle, arrow crabs, and a juvenile moray eel. As I was sitting in the dinghy doing surface support for the group, I eagerly awaited their stories once they surfaced from the 45 minute trip below the ocean. During which I got soaked from a brief but intense Caribbean downpour. Upon our return to OceanStar, we were delighted to learn that Zoe, our head chef, had made everyone grilled cheese and fried eggs, and was already working on a dinner of vegetarian chili with pasta.

Once lunch and clean-up was done, the second group got ready for their dive and we headed out to Black’s Point for the last dive of the trip. This group had Zoe, our other Divemaster in training, as the leader. This time it was my turn to go diving with the group, along with Calum, Riley, Julia, Isa, Margeaux, and Ben (thanks buddy) with Adelaide as our surface support. For me, watching Julia and Margeaux diving with such skill and confidence was amazing as at the beginning of the trip (70 something days ago) they were brand new to diving and were my Open Water students. Well students they were no longer. Seasoned Rescue divers, they now are, as are the rest of them. I am so proud, of all of them, even the none divers, of all they have accomplished both individually and as a team.

Later in the evening was the main event. Just before we all sat down for squeeze, Steve requested that Will take down our ensign (the flag that flies at the back of OceanStar). Little did Will know that Riley had attached a note to the ensign, asking Will to marry her. Upon retrieving the ensign and the note, Will turned around to availed Riley and the whole crew standing in a circle awaiting Wills answer. Of course Yes! Riley wanted it official as soon as possible so the ceremony started immediately with Steve, our Captain officiating. I pulled out the rings (two nuts we found in the engine room) and a new power couple was created, Wiley… Rill-i-am… unsure of the couple’s name yet.

On that wildly romantic and impulsive note, I shall leave this tale here. Another will begin tomorrow. Until then…

1. Luke diving
2. Adelaide diving
3. Will diving
4. Will still diving
5. The wedding
6. Breakfast banana bread
7. Zoe in the galley
8. Chief, Xonel, and Isa hanging out at sunset
9. Mike and Luke chilling on the bow
10. Sophie posing for a photo
11. Will, Isabel, and Ben in the Salon
12. Zoe giving a dive briefing
13. Air guitar
14. Margeaux and Riley on the boom