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Location: Virgin Gorda, BVI

Ocean Star. A Shoestring Tale of the 11th.

A majority of the crew was feeling a little sluggish this morning. After a fulfilling oat breakfast, with some people finding the power of peanut butter and oats to be extremely rejuvenating, the crew felt a second wind and became again ready to rock and roll. The open water trainees set off on their quest to become certified this morning with Amy while the rest of the crew was left to experiment with the small sailboats known as Zests. There were many capsizes and failures, along with many triumphs, yet by the time the crew completed their journeys aboard the zests, there was a new sense of confidence in the air.

The open water trainees had not returned yet by noon, so the crew was left to go below deck and delve into something that most people would gasp at: reading. The crew proceeded to relish in the depths of knowledge that the boat’s library has to offer while they waited for their afternoon cuisine to be completed. Around 12:30, the time had come. The galley door swung open with a great force and the fumes of absolute delight filled the crew’s nostrils. We enjoyed quesadillas with salsa, a Mexican corn black bean and pineapple salad, along with ice-cold delicious nectar of life (water). Some of the crew had to hold back from indulging in more than two quesadillas because we needed to save some for the open water trainees. However, after much prodding and convincing, Stephanie gave in and allowed one more quesadilla per crew member aboard. The crew rejoiced and loaded their quesadillas with the delights of their afternoon grub.

After the crew aboard had eaten, they were dumbstruck. The trainees had not returned. Some of the crew began to worry, and Jonathon started to sweat in worry that his fellow crew-mates had not returned. Yet at 1:27 exactly, Max exclaimed, “Everyone look! They have returned!” This put the crew back in their old spirits and proceeded to offer every aid necessary to return the gear from the morning’s session. The crew then convened to discuss the activities that remained for the latter part of the evening. Captain Ian in his booming voice discussed with us that we would be moving Ocean Star to a new location to go on a fun dive.

The crew proceeded to raise the anchor, donned their life jackets and rushed to the front of the vessel. Jonathon got down into the anchor locker to feed the chains into the chain bucket, Chelsea turned the crank powered by hydraulics on and off to make sure the speed of the anchor coming back up was optimal, Max, Emma, Bobbie and the remainder of the crew worked in unison to ensure safe raising of the anchor. After the anchor had risen from the depths of the blue mass that has been named the Caribbean, Captain Ian exclaimed, “Let us be off!” and started the engine to begin our journey to our new site.

The journey was short, about 20 minutes in fact, but our new place to lay, anchor, was one surrounded by cliffs and beauty, along with intricate reefs teeming with sea life. There were two crews who had planned their afternoon to be filled with the joys of what has been known to be called scuba diving. There was a fun dive, which was headed by one of the fearless crewmen who goes by the name Carolyn. She took them to new depths and explored beautiful reefs that surprised them with a sight of a nurse shark.

The real fun began when the open water divers knew their time had come to go on their first ever open water dive. This dive was headed by the one and only Amy along with the fearless skipper of the day Jonathon Shoecraft. The group took the dingy out to a beautiful drop site to complete two simple skills to allow for the open water students to complete their training. After these skills were quickly overcome and achieved by the genius students, they went on to descend into the depths of the unknown. The dive went smoothly; any issues were righted promptly by Amy and her sidekick Jonathon. They then returned to the boat for a riveting dinner time that was accompanied by the meal “bangers and mash”. That’s British for mashed potatoes and sausage. The students completed a school session on seamanship at 10:02, expanding their minds with knowledge on sailing.

Finally, the night was ended when Max’s Night watch began.

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Hey Mom, Dad, Grandma, and family.

This is Jonathon! Just wanted to say I love you!

This trip is changing my life,

Jonathon