Location: Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe
It took me three tries to wake up the crew this morning. The smell of eggs and bacon was the only thing that actually got everyone rolling out of their bunks. After breakfast, we prepared for the passage, then put up the sails and waved goodbye to Les Saintes, wishing we could spend a little longer on the beautiful island of Terre de Haut. On our way to Pigeon Island, we had an oceanography class during which Steph taught us about deep ocean organisms and their adaptations! After class, we all returned up on deck and enjoyed the peaceful sail and clear skies. Shortly after lunch (Steve’s classic pasta bake), we dropped anchor near Pigeon Island. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to finishing our EFR course. We learned how to save someone from choking and how to assess the person for injuries. After class, we all had four good hours of free time. Everyone got time to catch up on important things – some of us worked on assignments, others exercised or slept; Ian finally got a chance to finish The Lord of the Rings movie. It was a very calm afternoon that transitioned into a great evening with a stunning sunset. The view was breathtaking: setting sun and pink clouds on the starboard side of us and a rainbow over the mountains on the other. On the horizon, we noticed a sailboat with black sails, surrounded by many small boats with flashing lights. That’s when Captain Ian ran up on deck and told us that it was Franois Gabart on MASIF, finishing their crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from France to Guadeloupe. It took him seven days to cross the Atlantic, starting in Brittany, with an average speed of 40-50 knots. We were all very intrigued by this story. While everyone else was taking pictures and admiring the ship as it was passing by, Captain Ian and Carolyn jumped into Irv to get a closer look. Being the only one who noticed, I also jumped in without hesitation. Planing in Irv, we were soon facing a 120ft boat. The only thought that I could actually think clearly was, “Woah.” After a delicious dinner of toad in a hole (Yorkshire pudding with sausages integrated), we did “squeeze.” I asked everyone if they had met themselves ten years ago, what advice would they give themselves? Following the cleanup, we had a marine bio lecture, which was a good last event before a good night’s sleep.