Our first morning after night watch began at 7:30 AM. Overall the opinions of night-watch were positive, and as we mustered at midship Nick read to us a story that we had created through the shifts of night-watch. Though it began with a journey of a ship and whales, it ended with marauders stealing treasure from the supposed Buckingham Palace and the reunion of a man and his narwhal son. Amidst laughter and confusion, breakfast was set up and consumed, which was followed by morning ship chores as every morning will entail. Chores were completed without complications, and with ten minutes of free time we set out in various directions to do course charting, knot tying, other random activities. Class commenced with the reading and discussion of "Sea Fever," a poem by John Masefield. Though there are many interpretations of the meanings in "Sea Fever," but we focused on the meter of this poem, and we concluded that its organized but chaotic measure was a parallel to the sea and its chaos. We next covered "Ulysses," by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Here we focused on how Ulysses, or Odysseus, was being nostalgic for his life of adventure and the sea. He seemed to have a mentality of meritocracy, or never give up, strive for the best. Finally, we looked at "The Maldive Shark," by Herman Melville. The shark is portrayed as a dark and ominous being while the pilot fish that live in a symbiotic relationship with this shark, were light and freeing. With class completed we moved on to some free time of writing, reflection, and reading.
It was then lunch time, which was delicious according to everyone. We do believe that our appetites have slightly increased do our new found days in the wind, heat, and sun. After lunch, we all prepared for our first island and snorkeling adventures on St. John. Arriving in shifts from the dinghies, we set out as a group to climb the mountain of the island (it doesn't look like a mountain to the naked eye, but remember they touch bottom of the sea, sometimes 15,000 feet in trenches). With some adventurous spirit we took a wrong path that led us to another oulet on the same beach we had left from. Oops. Oh well, what are adventures for, if not for wrong turns and sight-seeing along the path. Once we got ourselves navigated correctly and followed the road, we reached Annaberg ruins in no time.
Traveling through the ruins we saw some impressive views of the sea, but were also made aware of the juxtaposition of the slaves' living quarters being among such beauty when they were the exact opposite. Leaving the ruins behind, we set off on an old Danish road for the beach near the coral reef. As we prepared for the watery part of our adventure, we lathered ourselves in sunblock which made it difficult to properly put on goggles and flippers. Once completely ready, we set out for the reef, and we probably looked the very stark white creatures to all the underwater life. Time to get the suntan on, or more likely sunburn. We saw everything from our lovely (not) friends the sea urchins, to a nurse shark, a giant sea-star. Our trip back to the beach where we originally started our adventure was uneventful aside from being eaten almost alive by noseeums. We got back to the ship all in one piece and group, to have a dinner prepared by our one and only Captain Tom. After dinner, we did our evening ship chores, and are now writing this post to complete our day before setting sail with the full moon. We will be adventuring to Caneel Bay, which is another location off of St. John. Tune in tomorrow, to see what adventures and shenanigans we run into.