Location: Dominica

It was another big and exciting day for the crew of Ocean Star filled with whales, pirates, and exams. Students started their day out with a midterm exam on marine biology. After that, Ocean Star motored to Portsmouth Dominica. After learning about sperm whales during our guest lecture by Shane Gero from the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, we were all on the lookout for these gentle giants during our passage. Everyone became very excited when a sperm whale surfaced the water, exhaling and producing a large “blow” of water above its dorsal fin. We got to watch it for about five minutes before it dove back below the surface. After arriving in Portsmouth, students went on a tour of the Indian River, where they did an Oceanography lab, testing the salinity of the estuary as we were paddled upriver in a small boat. Students took a break at the Ticking Croc Tavern after their lab and enjoyed fresh herbal tea and grapefruit juice. The Indian River is also where the movie Pirates of The Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest was filmed, in which Captain Jack Sparrow must ask the sea witch Calypso for help with defeating the dreaded and frightening Davy Jones. The day ended with a class on estuaries and a review of the lab that was done earlier that day. Tomorrow Ocean Star sets sail for Les Saints, with more adventures waiting to be discovered.