Location: Falmouth, Antigua

In honor of the official one-week left mark, I broke my Tom Petty streak and played a song called “Thank You For Being A Friend.” I am going to miss the crew so much. It is hard to imagine not being surrounded by my 13 new friends and their fun-loving energy.

Customs may be closed on Sundays, but the Ocean Star classroom certainly isn’t. Today we took our first Navigation Master exam… a day that has been feared by many for quite some time. We broke into three groups, and the first two groups went before lunch. With a pencil, calculator, pair of dividers, plotter, and a big chart (most people would refer to it as a map, but few dare to use the M-word around Brahm), everyone put their heads down to work with the hopes of scoring a 70% or higher. We haven’t received our scores yet, but those who didn’t pass will take it again in two days. Woop Woop!

Johnny, Noah, and Chris served us Mediterranean bowls for lunch, which is definitely a favorite meal on the Ocean Star. During lunch cleanup, I hung out with the most enthusiastic deckie team on the boat. They always find a way to make scrubbing the deck a fun experience. We talked about our favorite TV shows and had a lovely conversation about Cheer. Meg and I will always love Coach Monica!

After lunch, the last group took the Navigation Master test, while group 1 and group 2 got to relax on deck or nap down below. We were quite busy in Dominica, so it felt nice to have some downtime.

Next on the schedule was learning more skills to continue working on our rescue diver certifications. We learned how to bring an unconscious diver to the surface and how to calm a panicked diver underwater. These practice exercises are always done with partners, so we have not only gotten good at the saving part but also at the playing dead part!!!

Another yummy fried rice dinner was served while Noah’s speaker played country music in the background. My final squeeze question was inspired by meeting Max for the first time in the Miami airport. We were discussing the job wheel, and I quickly caught onto the fact that Max was under the impression that instead of the wheel rotating one spot every day, the wheel would be spun, and your job would be whatever you happened to land on. Max was wrong but thinking about that conversation still cracks me up. I asked the crew what job they would want to spin if they would have to have that job for 80 days. Skipper and steward were popular choices. Some people even chose headmaster. Every job was chosen by at least one person except salty. Scrubbing dishes in a bucket of brown water and food chunks isn’t for everyone.

After dinner, we sat down together in the salon and assigned roles for the scuba diving emergency scenarios that will be sprung on us in these last few days. Everyone has an important job, and I think we will respond well to whatever challenges the staff has up their sleeves.

My answer to my squeeze question was skipper, so I’m sad to be signing off. As this 80-day program quickly comes to a close, I am feeling grateful for all the people that I have met and the things that I have learned. Mom and dad, thank you for making this adventure of a lifetime possible. Love you!

1) Post rescue dive fun
2) Erin focusing hard on her exam
3) Henry also working hard
4) Meg relaxing in the sun after completing her exam (Both of us will probably be back for test #2 but we feel relieved for now)
5) Pretty view from the deck. The boat to the right is from WWII!
6) Max 🙂
7) Liam killing it as the steward
8) Chris, Johnny, and Noah cooking
9) Shower party
10) Shower party
11) The all-female deckie squad
12) Grady jumping in for rescue practice
13) Erin looking ready to save some lives
14) Henry and his iconic Dr. Seuss swimsuit (great purchase Kelly!!!)
15) Late afternoon snack
16) Keaton and Addisen
17) Rescue dive meeting
18) Super cool shirt Sunday
19) One last picture of the deckie squad while they danced to Timber