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Location: Ladder Baai, Saba

As is tradition on my skipper day, I woke everyone up with “The Waitress Song” by Seth Sentry, an Australian hip-hop artist. While Seth was rapping about getting a cooked breakfast at a cafe, Nick, our head chef, was busy in the galley making us a cooked breakfast with sausages, eggs, and avocado, and I supplied some Vegemite for some that dared to try it. We moved very swiftly in to clean up as we had the dive boat from Sea Saba dive center turning up at around 8:30 to take us diving all morning.

Sure enough, at 8:32, Shark Bait, which is Sea Saba’s primary dive boat, came around the corner from the port, so we piled into our dinghies to be ferried over. Once we were all aboard Shark Bait, we started to gear up and received a brief from the Sea Saba crew on the dives we would be doing. Our first site was known for having geothermal activity underground, which led to orange-colored sand and a warmer-than-normal ground temperature. This meant that if one was to put their hand in the sand while on the dive, it could be almost too hot to hold there. We were also fortunate enough to see a lot of turtles, some say the most dangerous animal in the ocean, on this dive. The sheer number was intimidating due to the sometimes aggressive nature, but luckily, they were more interested in the seagrass than us, so we were able to float around watching the turtles eat some lunch.

Kas and Ginny were also able to do some snorkeling and had an interesting chat with one of the Sea Saba crew about all the corn in Indiana. For our second dive, we headed to a shallower site nearer to the new port of Saba. This second site had fantastic bathymetry with small underwater rock canyons and overhangs to swim amongst, looking for new and interesting fish. This dive was, for some, the Fish Identification Dive as part of the Advanced Open Water so many of the divers jumped in the water with special slates and pencils to draw and help identify five different species of fish. This was mostly successful after some hiccups with disappearing pencils and someone forgetting their slate on the boat.

Once we were back on board Ocean Star, we had lunch that was prepared by Nick while we were away, followed by a Nav Master Class as part of Seamanship. This included some of the final advanced charting techniques in preparation for the Nav exam in the coming days. When everyone was finished, the crew met on deck for some practice doing log rolls and treating someone for a spinal injury as well as moving someone from an unsafe location to allow for easier and safer treatment or extraction. This was part of everyone’s Emergency First Response certification and was followed by an exam for the same cert.

As you can see, we had a really busy day, so after dinner, as part of the squeeze, the whole crew had a giant game of hide and seek all over the boat, with Hannah winning the game. Im going to have to finish typing now as we still haven’t found her…