Location: Mayreau, SVG

After a delicious breakfast of hashbrowns, bacon, baked beans, and tomatoes (a bit of an homage to Ash, our favorite British staff member), we had a little bit of free time before beginning our day. Most of us opted to work on our oceanography essays, while a few went snorkeling around the cays. After that, it was time to get underway to Mayreau, Ocean Star’s very, very temporary home (we leave tomorrow). Fortunately, we had a pretty smooth 1-hour motor over. While underway, we were able to have a little quiet time, to study, read, or just rest up for what we knew would be a big afternoon. We had a quick lunch of pesto pasta, roasted veggies, and garlic bread (yum), and then we all met up on the beach for some games led by Ash.

The first exercise he had us do was the bird and the perch. If you’re not familiar, the game goes a little like this. Everyone partners up, and then in your pairing, the two of you decide who will be the bird and who will be the perch. Perches form a circle in the middle and move counter-clockwise, while birds form a larger circle and move clockwise. When Ash yells, “bird in the perch!” the birds have to sprint to their perches and get their feet off the ground as quickly as possible. The team to do it last is out. Unfortunately, me and my partner Alexis got out first, although I personally believe that Ash wasn’t looking hard enough, and I’m sure she’d agree with me. After Quinn and Sam won, we transitioned into capture the flag, the real highlight of the day.

We were split into two teams: Sam, Logan, Eamon, Lucy, Eulalie, Alexis, Teddy, and myself; and Quinn, Stef, Lucia, Maxime, Sophie, MacKenzie, Will, and Tate. The former was known as AQ or Action Quest, while the latter was known as GB or Go Beyond. Immediately after getting our teams, things got serious VERY fast. We almost never have any competition on the boat as we’re always working together, which is obviously a wonderful thing, but a few of us, myself included, were ready to go crazy at the idea of a (semi) lighthearted competition. After strategizing for about 15 minutes and pretending to hide a few different flags to throw off the other team, we got straight down to business. The game feels like a complete blur, although I do remember flipping completely over Maxime onto the sand (and tagging him) and then about 30 seconds later having to get up, chase Quinn down, dive for him and ALMOST make it. And, of course, I remember seeing Eamon barely make it back onto our side with the other team’s flag and going completely nuts. That was definitely the longest, hottest, and sandiest game of capture the flag I have ever played in my life45 minutes to an hour 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) heat. And we weren’t even done yet. After my team’s completely expected and unavoidable win, and after soaking in the ocean to get our bearings for about 10 minutes since we were all completely worn out, we switched sides. We did the whole thing over, this time with Ash stipulating that we had to have the flag in plain view so our game would go a little quicker.

This game was even more competitive, with my team wanting to keep our streak alive and the other team vying for at least one win. We were all trying to be as strategic and careful as possible while also trying to take the risks necessary to succeed, and for my team, it paid off one more time. Four of our players must’ve sat in jail for at least 20 minutes, while the other 4 of us tried to come up with a plan to break them free while still keeping our guard up. Eventually, though, we made it happen, and once our players were out of jail, Sam walked nonchalantly on their side like he had just been tagged and was walking to jail, and once he got their flag, he booked it into the ocean, figuring he’d be able to outswim anyone. Once he saw Stefi (who we all call Coach) gaining on him, though, he panicked, and rightly so. Luckily, Eamon had just caught up and was right there to bring that flag home one more time. Sam threw it to him, and for a moment, it seemed like he wasn’t gonna get there before Coach did. When he did get it and sprinted with the speed only reserved for intense games of capture the flag, we went absolutely wild. And yes, obviously, winning is super fun and exhilarating. But the real thrill was being able to run super hard on the beach with all my friends, get super worn out, and really just enjoy each other’s company.

When we got back on Ocean Star, we were all the good kind of worn out. We had had a great workout, played some super fun games, and were all ready for a shower and dinner. Dinner was some delicious chicken tacos, and as we ate them under the stars and chatted and laughed, it felt like the perfect end to an incredible day.

Till next time,
Asta <3

Photo captions:
Photo 1: Sam and Quinn with their trophy
Photo 2: Team AQ
Photo 3: Lucy and Eamon strategizing
Photo 4: Team AQ after our second victory
Photo 5: Team GB
Photo 6: Celebratory group hug
Photo 7: Me falling while trying to get away from MacKenzie, Maxime, and Quinn