Location: Galleon Beach, Antigua

At 7:00 am sharp, Post Malone’s beautifully autotuned voice drifted through the main saloon, waking up Ocean Star’s crew for a busy day soaking up the Antiguan sun. Ash kicked off the day for us with his specialty (french toast and bacon), which put us all in good spirits and prepared us for our day. After cleaning up and getting Ocean Star into shape, we raised anchor over in Falmouth harbor and motored along the coast to Galleon Beach, where we anchored and got our dinghies back in the water. With the famous dive site “Pillars of Hercules” in view, the crew was excited to get in the water to scour the corals and ocean floor for Eagle Rays and Green Sea Turtles.

Ash was cooking up a storm in the galley, so I lead the first dive out to the Pillars, where we saw all sorts of marine wonders, and Calum nearly got reeled in by a local fisherman. Sydnei and I headed out again with the second group to complete my final Divemaster tasks before meeting up with the others for a leisurely swim and safety stop. Back on Ocean Star, we filled ourselves up on Ash’s delicious burritos before hopping into dinghies for a ride to shore. Steve graciously stayed aboard, allowing the remaining 16 of us to hike past the Pillars of Hercules to some amazing cliffs and tidepools further along the coast. Along the way, we made a large canine friend who we named Dylan in honor of our dearly departed shipmate (we miss you, Dylan!!).

After crawling along cliffs, soaking in incredible views, and sneaking in some freediving, we made our way back to Ocean Star for a brief chunk of downtime before vigorously attacking Ash’s final meal of the trip: Vegetarian bolognese with sweet potato mash. Now the crew is gearing up for a night dive back over at the Pillars, and hopefully, we get to see even more amazing animals over there tonight. Now that we’re done with all our certifications and academics (officially wrapped up after our Marine Bio exams last night and my Divemaster certification today), we have the last few days here to do all the things we’ve loved most on this trip: diving in the beautiful water and spending quality time with each other aboard our floating home. My squeeze question, “what is something that you want to take advantage of in your last few days here” showed us all just how much this trip has meant to us and how much we’ll all miss being together in this amazing place. We’re all making sure to appreciate every moment with our Ocean Star family here before returning to all of you (our other families) in a few days.

See you all soon!