Location: Carlisle Bay, Antigua

Greetings from Antigua! I started off the morning with some BROCKHAMPTON (thinking of you, cous) to get everyone up and ready for the day. Our chefs had already gotten up and started to prepare today’s breakfast. During the time between wake up and breakfast we prepared to motor out to Carlisle Bay, a place that we’ve been but had yet to fully experience. The crew brought the anchor in, and we headed off. During the motor we ate a delicious meal of breakfast tacos delivered by today’s head chef, Ethan, and his sous chefs (Ethan is pictured masked up cutting onions for the meal). After breakfast was over, I informed the crew that we would have a practice Nav. Master exam following cleanup, however, there was a unanimous vote to take the real exam today, so that if anyone failed they would be able to try again.

With cleanup done, we headed to the salon to see what time period we would each be taking the exam. Luckily, I got to take the exam first. I thoroughly enjoyed my (hopefully) last time with the chart, carefully placing the bretton plotter to make my lines straight and measuring out my dividers three times over to make sure my answer was correct. During this time, the first group of divers headed to the dive sight. I expected everyone to come back just as usual, talking about the cool fish that they had seen, and maybe some nice coral. The one thing that I heard from the divers that I haven’t heard before was how pristine the visibility was. Everyone was raving about how you could see 30-40 feet in front of you. Also, we now have all finally seen a shark on a dive ! After hearing this, I immediately went to go set up my kit, when all of a sudden we got the word from Steve that something was wrong with the anchor, and so we had to bring it up and move just a little. We had a team ready, and the job got done smoothly. Lunch was prepared by the time we anchored down again, so we settled down in the cockpit to enjoy some hearty vegetarian lettuce wraps.

Lunch was followed by the crew splitting up yet again into a dive group and a Nav. Master exam group. The people that took the test in the morning wished the current bunch luck, and headed out to the dive sight. We got into the water and I remembered the first group said that there was awesome visibility, but I did not expect this. The water was so clear I felt like I could see a mile away. The best part was that even before descending, one of our group members spotted a nurse shark right below us (last picture)! At the bottom we all wanted to investigate and get closer to it, and I think it liked us because it swam around us a few times while we were waiting for everyone to get down. The swim started, but the shark didn’t want to leave us alone! I would say our dive was about 40ish minutes, and the shark continued to hang out with us. A few times it got really close to Ash, so we named the shark Sam.

After the dive, we headed back to our beloved Ocean Star. The second Nav. Master group was still testing, so the divers dekitted and quietly showered. Once the word got out that everyone was done with the exam, the crew resumed our normal afternoon conversation, something I know I’m going to miss very much. Our day ended with an early dinner of some yummy enchiladas and a squeeze about what you have proudly taught yourself. While writing this blog, the final group is taking their Nav. Master exam and hopefully we’ll all be certified Nav. Masters! It was a truly unforgettable, shark-filled day 🙂 -Cat

P.S. Shoutout to everyone’s pets at home because we miss them we much as they miss us :)))