Day One, Februrary 22, 1997, Bridgetown, Barbados

    6:30 a.m. Ottawa International Airport
We all gathered together, early in the morning, in front of Air Canada Terminal to split up the extra gear of scientific equipment, cameras, scuba gear and food. We checked in and boarded, and headed for Toronto. Arriving in Toronto we had but 20 minutes to make our connecting flight. Most of us easily made the connection, but  many members of our group were detained, as they were carrying their geological hammers in their carry-on. They were forced to leave them behind, in order to be able to continue onto their connecting flight. The camera crew were asked to open all their video tapes, but they were able to convince the custom officials otherwise. 

We flew on a B-767 and the flight was 5 hours long. Some of the group, just had to visit with the captain and co-pilot. We asked for a pair of wings, but he only had a couple left for the youngsters, but he did give us postcards (as shown in the inset photo). The pilot showed us how they read: 

  • Ground Speed = 469 Miles/Hr
  • Air Speed = 489 Miles/Hr
  • Altitude = 39,000 feet
  • Temperature = -54o C
  • Location 400 Miles NE of San Jaun
We arrived in Bridgetown at 3:30 p.m., we lost an hour moving through one time zone. We caught two taxis with all our gear to the commercial port, about a 40 minute drive away. We unloaded the taxis, and loaded up luggage carriers for a short hike to the ship. 

The ship, " Fair Jeanne" which would sail us through 9 islands in the next 14 days. Before boarding we met the crew 

  • Captain Alex Mulder
  • Executive Officer, Red Watch Officer: Sarah Watts
  • Ship's Engineer,Green Watch Officer: John Armstrong
  • Red Watch Officer: Fiona Galloway
  • Red Watch Petty Officer: Sean Gillespie
  • White Watch Petty Officer: Gene Carson
We were immediately split into three watches, Red Watch, White Watch and Green Watch, these three watches would rotate on a schedule for navigating the ship, eating, cooking duties, cleaning duties and most important sleeping times for the remainder of the voyage. 

The first night in Barbados, most of Red watch, and most of Green watch made the trek into town to see the night life. We started off at this little warfside club, sampled pitchers of Carib, the native beer of Barbados. We stayed there for a couple hours until the rest of the gang caught up and then we ended up at this cool place, situated right on the beach called "Harbour Lights", the club was totally open to the air, like one huge patio. There we danced, limboed, played  games with the locals.

We got back to the boat and decided since it was such a nice night out, that we would sleep up on deck with our sleeping bags. There was a nice breeze, and the stars shone brightly throughout the sky. We were all tired from the long day traveling and fell asleep quickly.