Location: Saba

Today dawned bright and early as we prepared for our final student-led passage from Statia to Saba. Carolyn headed over to get us cleared out first thing, and we had a tasty breakfast with fresh fruit by head chef Jade. While we waited for Carolyn to finish with customs, we got off the anchor and set sails while standing off. Our goal was to depart no later than 9 am to make it to Saba in time to clear in before closing time. We left almost 30 minutes before our goal, and we felt very proud of ourselves. We really enjoyed our time in Statia, and we waved goodbye to Golden Rocks dive shop and Mt. Quill as we departed. The student leaders for the day were Nate (skipper), Matthew (navigator), Joseph (bosun), and Jade (engineer). They led us on a very calm and relaxed sail over to Saba. The students have their NavMaster exams coming up, so during the passage, they practice calculating ETA to get some real-life practice before their exams. Our lunch was build-your-own nachos, which was a bold move for an underway lunch because you risk the chips blowing straight off your plate! But it was delicious, and everyone ate their fill, with just a few chips overboard.

We arrived just before 1 pm and got on a mooring ball in Ladder Bay, which has a view of the historic Ladder. It is an 800-step staircase built into the side of the steep slopes of Saba, and it used to be the only way that goods and supplies could be brought onto the island. Apparently, at one time, even a piano was hauled up those large steep steps. After we got settled, we did a mini-BA (boat appreciation), during which we got our final clean sheets of the semester. It’s crazy to think that we have a mere ten days left until everyone departs Ocean Star, and it’s quiet once again. Sometimes the music and chatter and splashing and squeezing past people and noise from the galley can be stressful, but we sure do miss it when it’s over! We completed a quick and efficient BA, and then had shower time to cool off and enjoy the crystal clear waters of Saba. While Jade and her sous chefs were preparing dinner, I was already prepping a bunch of food in anticipation of Thanksgiving tomorrow! It’s one of my favorite holidays, and I’m so excited to get to head it up this year. I chopped beets, zucchini, and potatoes to prepare for just a few of the many dishes we have planned. The students’ final paper for their Leadership class was due at 6 pm, and then we sat down for family dinner as usual.

After dinner, the Thanksgiving prep continued. While we played Moana in the salon (I couldn’t believe how many of our students had never seen it!), Kennedy made apple cider, I made pineapple casserole, and Ridge helped me make cream cheese pumpkin bread with real, actual pumpkin. With holiday smells filling the air, we all had a relatively early night to rest up for our big day of diving and EATING tomorrow!

Pictured: a student-led passage from Statia to Saba; view of Statia as we departed; staff cuddle puddle in the chart house