Location: Underway to Nevis
Today started off with an introduction to scientific writing to help prepare all our budding scientists for the research papers they will be writing this semester. We then pulled anchor from our spot in Road Town and while underway to Spanish Town all the open water divers completed their final exams and everyone passed with flying colors. Upon reaching Spanish Town we had some shore time to pick up any last minute items and were given the chance to eat lunch ashore. We shuttled everyone back to Ocean Star and then it was time to prepare for one of my favorite things: our first passage! Being underway, especially on our first passage, is a magical time where the crew gets to put all the skills theyve learned over the last week and a half to work. We split up into three watch teams and take turns running the boat for 3 hour shifts. When you are on watch you are running the boat and the watch members rotate through different jobs. These responsibilities include sitting on bow watch, steering the boat and doing boat checks to ensure the deck is in order, the engine is running properly and below decks is neat and everything is tied down. It is also a time where a lot of good conversations happen (what else are you going to do from midnight-3am), you witness some really cool phenomenons that happen out on the water (like bioluminescence, flying fish, dolphins bow-riding) and you cut the umbilical cord that ties you to land as you head out to sea. The crew is abuzz with the excitement of our first passage as we wave good-bye to the British Virgin Islands and look out toward the horizon- next stop Nevis! Woot!