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Location: Young Island, St. Vincent

Wow, what a day. At least for me, it was spectacular. We started with a nice, slow, staggered wake up in which my Deputy Skippers gave everyone a few extra minutes to sleep before gently waking them with plenty of time before breakfast. Breakfast was delish, complete with lots of yummy fruit. There was even some apricot, which I somehow mistook for an orange – in case you didn’t know, those are very different flavors. Then, we were off to get Covid tested (again)!! However, this Covid test involved a short but lovely little walk on land, something I think we were all appreciative of. We even got to walk across grass! How good is that?? AND the test was actually quite gentle and fast. Thanks Nicole! (She gave our tests). Back onboard the Starship, just about everyone set to work – who knows what they were working on, but it looked like everyone was being very studious. Meanwhile, I graded some quizzes, helped get our dingy on deck, and helped attach a secondary starboard mooring line. You know, boat stuff.

Then we had lunch (sandwiches – always a winner), Seamanship, and then… a scuba!!! Turns out, there’s little baby reefs all around the boat and they are absolutely packed with so many cool creatures! First, as we descended, we went through a layer of jellies – very pretty, only stung a little bit, and you could see their little tentacles shimmer and glow! Then, at the bottom of the mooring, there was a mega lobster (turns out it’s actually a crayfish). Next, we swam through a seagrass meadow absolutely filled with urchins. And these weren’t just any urchins. These were stylish urchins – they all looked like they had frosted tips! Then, at the tip of the reef, we were greeted by our favorite fluorescent sponge! And when I say fluorescent, it was literally glowing purple. Looked like it had a black light on it. It’s got to be one of the coolest sponges/colors I’ve ever seen in nature. I actually have a good friend name Lolo that says her favorite color is purple in nature, and when I saw it I thought, “Woah! This must be what she’s talking about!”. So that was good to see ol spongey again. Then, everyone set about exploring the reef. We found an eel, a trumpet fish, a lizard fish, tons of butterfly fish and even a lion fish! Hmm.. I never realized how many fish names are actually just other animals with the word fish added on… Any-who, while the lionfish looked mega cool, it was actually a bummer to see, since they are invasive species in the Caribbean. What is cool, however, is that all of our shipmates know that because they are paying attention in class and even writing a paper on it! Yay knowledge! It was also mega cool for me to watch all of our shipmates scuba with confidence and just have fun underwater: Grady had a leaf crown, Keaton was turbo despite her tiny fins (are they even fins?), Celia had the most magical hover, and everyone (except Chris!) saw an octopus!! All in all, it was great scuba.

When we surfaced, it was cloudy, grey, and rainy. I’d even say it was warmer in the water than out. But have no fear, this “cold” weather gave me the perfect opportunity to wear my new leggings – Thanks mom! They are a big hit!!! Even my good friend Steve said he appreciated them. And that is a mega win : D

P.s. It’s my good friend Daniel’s birthday today. So happy birthday Daniel!!!
P.s.s. Did I use too many exclamations in this post? Literally no way to tell!!!

-Sam

Picture 1 – Celia, the expert hover-er – photo courtesy of my Deputy Skippers
Picture 2 – Fluorescent sponge. Not THE fluorescent sponge. But still cool
Picture 3 – My morning view
Picture 4 – Mug and Celia patiently (maybe not patiently) waiting for food
Picture 5 – Henry goes for a Scuba – photo courtesy of my Deputy Skippers
Picture 6 – Chris LOVES food. He gets at least thirds every meal
Picture 7 – Scuba selfie – photo courtesy of my Deputy Skippers
Picture 8 – Chef Julian cheffing up a mean stir fry (it was actually quite nice, not mean)
Picture 9 – Everyone very excited to eat said stir fry
Picture 10 – The great Deputy Skipper Liam

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