Location: English Harbour, Antigua

At 7:06 AM, I rolled over in my bunk, confused as to why no one had woken us up. I called Katie in the galley to check and see who the skipper was. She replied, “you.”. Oops. I jumped out of bed and comedically woke up the rest of the crew, almost all of which had already begun to open their eyes. After a lovely yogurt, fruit, and granola breakfast prepared by Ian and Katie, we were all fueled up for the adventures ahead. Following a quick cleanup, the (almost) open water divers prepared for another confined water dive. Those of us who already held certifications were given some free time. I spent most of my time practicing knots, listening to music, and getting a bit too much sun. Peyton, Olivia and I also went for a short walk around the dockyard, through a small marketplace, a restaurant, and the museum. It was really interesting seeing so many artifacts from this harbor that were hundreds of years old and learning all about the naval history of Nelson’s Dockyard. However, I don’t think I ever really need to read about naval history again with Ian around. You ask him how cannonballs were made back then, and 20 minutes later, you know the entire evolution of British and American canons, a couple of naval battles, and a funny story about how the British defeated the Americans in Boston Harbor.
Once the divers returned, we all reconvened for lunch, baked potatoes with butter, cheese, beans, corn, and pineapple? Yeah, I thought it was strange, too, but it was a truly wonderful experience, 12/10 would recommend to a friend. With the sun reaching its most intense temperature of the day, we decided to venture down the island via Irv, one of our trusty dinghies for a completely unshaded hike up towards the pillars of Hercules. While on our hike, we were able to explore some small but lively tide pools. Within seconds Steph gleamed with excitement as she spotted the first rather large crab, and later, Matty spotted another, he screamed. Both Steve and Steph taught me about the coral we found and the other organisms in the pools. Fun fact; if a piece of coral is broken off, it can be reattached to any other coral reef, and with a bit of time, it will heal itself and grow an entirely new reef.
Too soon, our hike was brought to an end, but with beads of sweat dripping down my face, I was more than ready to jump into the ocean. One after another, we ran into the crystal clear water, sighing with relief and pure joy. After some time, we all found our way back onto Ocean Star, showered and ready for dinner. However, before we could indulge ourselves, Ian held a short but none the less thrilling safety course on personal floatation devices and taught us about how to gather rope.
For dinner, Steve made us Shepards Pie with a big side of leftovers. Yum! At the end of every dinner, we squeeze. The skipper asks the crew a question, which meant today I was asking, “who was your biggest role model(s?” For me, I said my grandpa Duffy who was a kick-butt sailor that put up with nobody’s stuffing. More importantly, my mom is a huge role model because she has the hardest job in the world, and I’m pretty sure she’s self-taught. No matter how much of a brat I was, she always handled everything with love, compassion, and kindness. She is someone I aspire to be like every day of my life. But if you’re reading this dad, you’re my favorite.
The sun has gone down, and everyone is beginning to settle in for the evening and becoming better acquainted with their new family. It is the third day living aboard Ocean Star, and despite not having left port, every minute has been unforgettable. I can’t wait for what the next three months have in store for me.

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