Location: Saint Lucia

Today began with an easier-than-normal wake-up; after a few days of early rising, the majority of the crew was already up and out of bed by the time 7 am rolled around. We started the day with “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson and some delicious crepes by our hard-working chefs who rose before sunrise to make sure the whole crew was fed and ready to tackle the day. Today was set aside to be a day full of classes and boat appreciation, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Piton Bay in St. Lucia. After breakfast and a speedy clean-up, we dove into learning more about the small invertebrates of the marine environment in a Marine Biology lecture. We also got to the bottom of the little stinging creatures we can all feel, but none of us can see; the Sargassum of St. Lucia seems to be full of little Hydrozoans that offer a bit of a shock if you happen to bump into them in the water, but it’s nothing too serious.

Following our first class of the day, we got started on a much-needed deep cleaning of Ocean Star, which we refer to as “Boat Appreciation.” It’s definitely nice to take the time to scrub and organize our floating home after a busy week and a successful passage. The entire crew got to work while the chefs cooked up another fantastic meal in the galley, and a run for the next round of provisions was completed onshore. With a clean boat and everyone in good spirits after lunch, we began a new unit of Seamanship, during which we’ll all be working towards our Navigation Master certifications. I’m especially excited about this section because even though I’ve worked on the water for as long as I can remember, I’ve never gotten formal training on how to fully navigate a vessel using paper charts.

Our long day of work aboard was rounded out with an Oceanography quiz and a rather competitive review game for our upcoming Oceanography MIDTERM. It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through this incredible journey already… Nonetheless, we’re all soaking in every second that we’re spending in these beautiful places. As soon as we finished our work for the day, many of us hit the water for some snorkeling or headed toward the beach to catch a glimpse of Ocean Star lit up by the setting sun. We even made some new friends, who told us all about the best things to do while we’re here.

Tomorrow we’ll finally be headed ashore to visit volcanic hot springs and a botanical garden; after our spectacular visit to the volcano in St. Vincent, I have no doubt that it’s going to be a phenomenal day!

Until next time!

Matt starting his day with a snooze in the hammock and two double rainbows.. which he may not have been lucky enough to see for himself; Petite Piton off the stern of Ocean Star and the incredible backdrop for the day; Eli and Kaiden hard at work during Seamanship; Miranda, Steffen, and Britt working out a practice problem with the instructional chart of Chesapeake Bay; Jill, Kennedy, Jade, Matthew, and Joseph working with plotters on the Chesapeake Bay chart; the beautiful beach in Soufriere Bay; Miranda and Jill with friends from St. Lucia; Britt and Joseph hammocking on the bow before dinner; tonight’s view of Ocean Star from the beach before sunset.