Location: Falmouth Harbour

Hi there all you cool cats and kittens,

Ash here, your friendly neighbourhood dive instructor. As I headed to the the salon this morning to wake everyone, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people already up on deck and enjoying the calm, cool, air and early morning light. Once I entered the salon, I could hear from the galley, the familiar sound of a whisk beating eggs ready for what promised to be an exquisite breakfast sandwich from Caleb and his 2 sous chefs, Nick and Graham. I then proceeded to wake them with a chilled song from the band Alpine, Gasoline. Perfect for the morning vibes on the boat.

Once the awesome breakfast was done and the cleaning was finished, 11 crew members gathered in the salon for myself and Sydnei to brief them on their coming training dives for the Padi Advanced Open Water Course. This included discussions on diving from boats from around the world and deep diving beyond their current maximum depth of 18m/60ft. After a fruitful dive theory session, the whole group gathered to continue growing their knowledge of Seamanship under Calum’s tutelage. This ended with a bowline tying competition up on deck where all crew mates competed with the end prize being bragging rights, their favourite snack purchased for them on the next provisioning run and of course, the ultimate prize, our trophy can of Spam. The intense competition resulted in a final showdown between Alex (the current holder of the Spam) and Tom. Calum set the challenge of tying a bowline around themselves, gave the count down and it was on! Alex put up a tremendous fight but victory, in the end, was Tom’s. Alex graciously handed over the Spam to the new torch bearer.

Lunch was next on the agenda with an amazing fried rice delivered from the galley, the perfect fuel for our afternoon dive. Full from lunch, the entire group began setting up equipment for the dive. Now all certified, this was to be the first dive the whole group would go on together. They formed their buddy teams, loaded the dinghies and away we went to Bishop’s Reef. All the teams, made of a mixed experience level, tried out their navigation skills on the reef and Sydnei and I were like proud parents watching as they demonstrating wonderful confidence and skill underwater. Especially those who have only just started to dive, the change we’ve seen from only a few days ago is huge and impressive.

After the dive, filled with eagle rays, sting rays, trumpet fish, arrow crabs, pistol shrimp, and many more, the team headed back to Ocean Star to clean their gear and take their Marine Biology Exam. If nerves were high before the exam, it wasn’t obvious. Everyone was eager to get in and get started, although they will have to wait a bit for the results. Upon completion of the exam, a well deserved swim or relaxation on deck in the late afternoon sun was in the cards. Followed up with another amazing meal from Caleb, Nick and Graham, everyone is now readying for a move night and study for the Seamanship exam coming in a few days.

Thanks for reading, I’ve been great.

Ash.