Location: English Harbour, Antigua
In Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast, an 1800s account of a sailing trip around the America’s, Dana explains the traditional sailor’s way of resting on Sundays. All unnecessary work and chores were suspended, and the sailors were allowed a brief respite from the grueling life aboard a working ship. Mind you, Ocean Star life could hardly be described as grueling, but this is still how the students chose to spend Sunday. Whether it was the historical setting of Ocean Star in Nelson’s dockyard or the availability of leisure activities in southern Antigua, it was a pretty easy day. After a morning Marine Bio class, the students split out for soccer on the beach, the internet cafe, and for a look around at the superyachts lining the docks.
Everyone had gotten their R&R in by the early evening, and the crew assembled for the trek up to the former governor’s house at Shirley Heights. Dressed in their finest casual dress clothes, they followed a pathway up the ridge to the gathering thunder of the local steel drum band that was already getting the party started. On arrival at the estate, the group mixed in with the hundreds of locals, tourists, yacht crew, and assorted scoundrel that had gathered for the night festivities. The dancing commenced as the sun went down. Shortly after sunset, the steel drum band wore itself out and stopped playing only to be replaced by a rock-reggae band, which brought the energy level up even more. The band played until no one had the energy to dance, and only then could we call it a true sailor’s day of rest.