Location: Cocoa Bay, Barbuda

Great evening friends and family!!!
First before I divulge into todays exciting retelling, a recap of last nights lobster escapade. Tom, Ethan, Nick, and others cooked the two lobsters wonderfully, one in a ginger and pepper and the other with the most butter physically possible. They were obviously delicious. Once feasted upon and every fiber of succulent meat was cleaned off the two prickly crustaceans, the whole ensemble of crew who got a glorious nibble hopped into action cleaning and scrubbing dishes and pans to a mirror shine.

With that said, this morning started wonderfully with a fantastic roar as the speakers literally blasted music throughout the salon waking up everyone almost instantaneously. I tried to hurry up the crew so we could begin our day motor over to Cocoa Bay, this occurred with success as we began our breakfast of granola and yogurt, quick but delicious. Cleaned up and prepped we began our motor around Cocoa Point back to the bay. Simple, easy, and most importantly flawless. The crew easily raised anchor and had no trouble dropping it at our destination. With that done the students returned down below to prep for Seamanship Class. We sat anxiously in the salon ruminating about the imminent rescue diver scenario. Every creak and sound made on deck was target for suspicion.

We began our seamanship class and half way through after we completed the worksheet we started to review the notes. During this brief intermission we hear a thunderous roar: “DISTRESSED DIVER ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!!!” It was Nick, who while snacking on a protein bar noticed Ash jump into the water and begin the thrash his arms in panic. Tension was already high from our anticipation and we all leaped into action. We bolted up the companionway and looked to see what was wrong. Nicole tossed in the life ring as other prepped gear and assumed their roles. I retrieved the radio from the charthouse and pretended to make a call. “Pan Pan Pan, this is Ocean Star Ocean Star Ocean Star, located in Cocoa Bay Barbuda, we have one diver in panic and in potential need of assistance, two masted schooner over,” I relayed into the lifeless radio. As I came up the crew is hauling in Ash as he says he is missing his dive buddy. Our skin divers are now on patrol following Ash’s recollection of what had happened. Meanwhile Caleb and Alex jump in the water in snorkel gear, and Caleb fakes unconsciousness and Alex acts panicked. For a brief moment I believed them but remembered this was a scenario. We had four distressed divers, one unconscious and not breathing, two panicking and one missing diver. The first three were hoisted aboard and treated for their injuries, Lung over-expansion treatment for Ash and CPR and rescue breaths for Caleb. “Found him!” our snorkelers called as they found our final missing diver, Steve was unresponsive by the anchor. Divers swam over and brought him to the boat delivering rescue breaths as the went. Everyone was brought aboard and treated for their fake injuries before the scene was cut and we received our after action report. We passed! There were hiccups but all stuff we could certainly improve on by the next scenario.

Lunch was prepped while we finished our last notes of Navigation Master. Chicken Ceasar wraps for lunch before our fun dive. Group one headed out to Cocoa Point and dove while the remaining students watched a movie. Group 1 saw a massive shark and a beautiful spotted eagle ray along with a multitude of other fish. Group two headed out upon the last groups return and saw significantly less cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, skates). We spotted one massive stingray and a beautiful spotted moray eel. Ian spotted a beautiful Angelfish and a cool looking honeycomb cowfish.

We returned to some brief relaxation before dinner of rice, eggplants, ground meat, tomato and eggs. A very delicious meal for those exhausted from the tiring dive and rescue scenario.

As I write this we prep for a night dive at the same point. It’s going to be a blast!

-Dylan Steidley