Everyone has now arrived on Ocean Star and we set sail from Tortola on Saturday morning to our first anchoring spot at Virgin Gorda. All the students are from around the United States, in fact I am the only person from the UK aboard, so I am introducing them to important English traditions like marmite sandwiches!
Before departure we had to stock the boat with food for 15 people for 80 days. Shopping for this type of trip isn’t like going with your mum to the supermarket; everything is ordered from a wholesaler and delivered by truck. You can check out the photo of some of the supplies below - the pile is solely the milk we bought so you can imagine the amount of pasta, eggs, tinned tomatoes etc that had to be carefully stored away in every available space - some food is even kept under the floor boards in order to fit it all in!
The daily routine has been established with breakfast at 7.30am followed by class or field trips. Lunch is at midday and the afternoon of snorkelling, hiking or diving is rounded off nicely by shower time. Shower time aboard a schooner
has to be seen to be believed - there are no showers aboard, instead you jump into the sea in your swimming costume, climb out and lather up with soap and shampoo then dive, jump or back flip back in to rinse off. The last step is a 10 second freshwater rinse from a hose on deck and then air drying in the evening sun before supper at 6.00pm.
This week is all about diving: the shipmates are completing their open water course and starting an identification logbook, where they note down all the colourful reef fish and invertebrates they see out snorkelling or diving. The aim is that by the end of the trip they will be able to SCUBA dive to 18m and know the majority of the species they see whilst they are swimming over the coral reef.
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