Location: Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

Hey, folks at home, it’s me, Justin, or as I have come to be known on the boat, Dad, here to tell you about the jam-packed day we had today after our exciting night sail. After several squalls and a few smooth rotations of our watch teams, we arrived back in our familiar home of Falmouth Harbour. Our captain Steve was gracious enough to let us sleep in so our second watch team could catch up on sleep. I personally enjoyed this very much as a member of the first watch team because I got to wake up and eat Sydnei’s amazing banana bread before going back to sleep for some extra time.

As we all slowly rose from our bunks to take on the day with plenty of sleep, we enjoyed lunch wraps before splitting into two groups and heading out for a dive. The first group had a very eventful dive getting to see not one but two sharks and several lionfish before having to return to the surface when one of the members quickly used all their air due to over-excitement. While the first group dove, the rest of us studied for our final exams in marine biology and rescue diving or worked on essays. The second group which I joined, also had an eventful dive as we saw a giant lobster, several groupers, a moray eel, and a lionfish. After this dive, the members of our boat who have yet to see a shark has been minimized to Meghan, or Mom, and myself. “The parents miss out on the fun to that there is more for the kids,” we say. I’m sure some of you at home can relate.

Our trip is quickly coming to an end with only a week left. We are taking our final exams and anxiously awaiting our final scenarios. Organizing plane seats, exchanging contact information, reminiscing on early trip memories, and plans for reunions have become a common topic of conversation. However, there are still many hours we have together and many memories to still be made. As the end of this journey becomes more and more visible, it is even more important to pay attention to each of the steps we have left. I, for one, will be doing as much as I can to squeeze in as many more meaningful moments and conversations with my Ocean Star family before I am to taste the bitter sweet goodbyes from my many new friends.

Selfishly I would like to write a bit as this will be my last opportunity as a skipper on this voyage. I am sure that I do not just speaking for myself when I say that this trip has been an immense delight in these trying times of pandemic, and to have the opportunity to connect with new people in meaningful ways has given me a fresh perspective on life. I would like to thank not only my own family for supporting me to go on this trip but to all the members of all the families of our crew here on Ocean Star because without any member of this boat. This trip would not be nearly as memorable. Thank you -Justin (Dad)