Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia
Today, we started our day with a delicious breakfast made by head chef Duncan, and during breakfast, we talked about the events of the day. At 9 am, some of the rangers from the SMMA (Soufriere Marine Management Area) came and gave us a talk about the conservation efforts they’ve made to help the reefs of St. Lucia, and they gave us opportunities to ask questions about the area and the process of setting up a marine protected area. After the talk, we all were amused to see there was no reaction from the speaker when Cole started asking questions. (For those who don’t know, Cole is rocking a gnarly half-beard) After the talk, we ate a delicious chicken casserole, also made by head chef Duncan. After lunch, the advanced open-water divers went over their knowledge review for their drift dive, and everyone suited up. The marine management boat came with our local dive guide, and we rode the dinghies around one of the giant spires where we’re moored to a dive called Superman’s Flight. Apparently, it gets its name from the second Christopher Reeves superman movie, where he flies to a location (which was here in St. Lucia) to pick his girlfriend’s flowers and also the ‘flight’ part from the fact that it is a drift dive due to the current. We back-rolled into the water and started our dive. The sights were breathtaking, with the amazing array of animal life and giant corals and sponges that towered over our heads, attached to the spire’s walls. While we drifted past the gigantic coral reef, the divemaster occupied himself by spearing lionfish. When we surfaced, we unloaded our dive gear onto Ocean Star’s deck and all crowded around as the guide ‘dissected’ all the lionfish. After that was done, we saved the fillets, and Duncan added it to his wonderful dinner of chicken potpie, now with lionfish on the side. Since it’s Monday, it’s automatically ‘Crazy Pants Monday,’ so everyone onboard sported wonderfully colorful and exotic pants for dinner. Now, clean-up is coming to an end, and we’re all getting ready for a great OCB class where we will, appropriately, be learning about fish. After that, we’ll all be getting ready to have another amazing day tomorrow.