Location: Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

This morning Xonel, Julia, and I woke up at 6 to study for the oceanography quiz. We sat and watched the morning light slowly rise as we quizzed each other about estuaries (even though our thoughts all too often drifted towards the coming coffee). At 7 am, I went downstairs to wake everyone up. Oftentimes people will play music to start the morning on a good note. It is usually upbeat but mellow like Jack Johnson, my morning music of choice generally. However, this morning I decided to grace everyone’s sleeping ears with Xonel’s beautiful voice “singing” the Big Booty Chant. Riley and Ben were chefs today and made breakfast burritos, a crowd favorite, for breakfast. After breakfast, we had leadership up on deck. Kiara did an incredible job leading this chapter’s class on leadership in practice. After leadership, we had our oceanography quiz and a lecture downstairs in the salon. Quiz days always are a bit chaotic because we try to squeeze study time into the little pockets of time we can find in our day, so finishing the quiz is always a relief. At 11:30, Zac had to leave for the airport. We all gathered on deck to say our farewells. Losing a crew member is very sad because each one of us makes up such a huge part of this boat and plays an integral role in the crew. Then, it was time for lunch. Ben and Riley spent the morning slaving over pounds upon pounds of chicken breast for some Tandoori Chicken. Every sweat drop was worth it, though, because the chicken was SO GOOD. We devoured every bit of it too quickly even though we had heaps of chicken. After we finished clean up, Kiara, Margeaux, Sophie, and the divemasters (Isabel and Zoe) got in the water, and Calum came back with the provisions for the next few meals. We helped bring things in and put things away as the divers spent time doing skill work practicing a rescue scenario for an unresponsive diver in the water. Once the provisions were away, a group of us went up to the bowsprit and listened to some good rock music and sang our hearts out. At one point, we were listening to When You Were Young by The Killers and sang back and forth to Ash as he stood in the dinghy, waiting to pull a diver in. In the late afternoon, it began to rain, so we all retreated to the salon to have a little dance party and get ready for dinner onshore. The dinner on shore was a big deal because we have never gotten dinner out before. The excitement was practically tangible. We go crazy for a trip to the grocery store, so the thought of getting food served to us was almost too much for us. There is something so nice about listening to good music and getting ready for a night with the possibilities of what’s to come ahead of you and all your friends around you. At dusk, we began our dinghy rides over to the marina. Usually, we would do a few runs, so less people go in Irv and Exi. But, we piled everyone in the dinghies this time. It felt a little precarious, especially on the way back with the extra weight from our VERY full bellies. Onshore, we walked fifteen minutes to the restaurants and then got to choose where to go for dinner. Three groups were formed and spread out across an Indian restaurant, an Italian restaurant, and a Sushi restaurant. We finished the night at the grocery store. Never have I met a group that got more excited to go to the grocery store, an emotion I also feel very deeply. There’s just something about the chilly air and fluorescent lighting. Once we got back, we all passed out in a food coma from the wonderful food we all were stuffed full with, ready for the new day to come.

picture 1 – everyone ready for dinner
picture 2 – Julia and Xonel studying
picture 3 – quiz time
picture 4 – Tandoori chicken
picture 5 – Chief with some food he found during provisioning with his name on it
picture 6 – Julia, Sophie, Ben, and Riley jamming out on the bowsprit
picture 7 – divers practicing skills in the water
picture 8 – Jodie, Margeaux, and Isabel getting ready
picture 9 – Will, Margeaux, Zoe, Riley, and Mike getting shuttled over to the marina
picture 10 – Isabel, Xonel, Chief, Julia, and Riley at the Italian Restaurant