Location: Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

As we sit on the dock in Rodney Bay and await the results of our Covid tests, which we took yesterday afternoon, the shipmates woke up early to get in some last-minute studying for their two exams today. After a breakfast of cereal, yogurt, and berries, the students headed down to the air-conditioned salon (we are definitely back in the tropics) to begin their Oceanography final with Leoni. This was quickly followed by their Marine Biology final exam about the deep sea, the open ocean, artificial reefs, marine protected areas, and small island developing states. Everyone feels extremely relieved to have these two exams over with as they are just a few days from finishing all of their academic requirements!

We celebrated finishing exams with a beautiful lunch of tomato and mozzarella risotto from our chef team of Val, Greg, and Wax. We had a bit of an early lunch, so we all sat and finally started counting down to 12 pm, the official start time of the combo birthday of our beloved twins, Smash and Tom – both are turning 28 years old – happy birthday. To Smash and Tom!! Leoni surprised them (and us all) with key lime pies and chocolate pies with whipped cream to celebrate the big day.

We had hoped that our test results would come back closer to the 24-hour mark, but as the day keeps going with no signs of us getting our results back, the shipmates settled back down in the salon for some more study time. Although classes and big exams have now finished, they still have a species ID quiz in a couple of days, along with the remainder of their fish ID books to hand in and their research project presentations for Oceanography. So we all took advantage of this downtime to finish up school work, grade exams from this morning, and get some work done around the boat.

We watched a sailing race while we enjoyed some saltine soup for dinner. The squeeze question tonight was “tell us about your happy place” – there were a lot of good options with a lot involving either being in nature, with one’s family, or a combo of both. We ended off the evening with the news that we all had negative Covid tests and officially cleared into St. Lucia! We got our bracelets changed from the quarantine bracelets and finished clean up to an insane sunset.

Photo 1: Smash and Tom cutting their birthday cakes together
Photo 2: Blowing out the candles
Photo 3: Getting cleared into St. Lucia!
Photo 4: Finished the day off strong with this sunset