Day Three, Februrary 24, 1997, Bridgetown, Barbados

Temperature 21oC in the morning, 27oC in the afternoon. 

Green Watch was on Galley Duty [food preparation] for the day, we were making sandwiches for our packed lunches, when we were informed that the ship had to leave dock, because a large cruise ship was coming in and needed our spot on the dock. So we unhooked our mooring lines and took the ship past the breakwall, and out into the near shore, and anchored. 

Now instead of just hopping off the ship to the dock we had to take the whaler into shore in trips of 4 or 5 at a time, this would be how we transported to and from the ship from now on. As a note, when travelling in the whaler, the worst seat is right at the front, that person gets soaked. Its best to try and position yourself with someone as a shield so that you stay relatively dry. 

The first group which got dropped on Barbados was thoroughly drenched by a massive rain shower. Although while in the Caribbean,  one minute you are soaking wet, and then once the rain stops and the breeze whips by with the heat of the day, you are dry before you know it. 

The day  started off -keel as we were not expecting to be anchored off the dock, but we quickly grabbed two taxis and were on our way. We started our day at walking through a road cut where we examined the change in fossilized organisms as we approached the shoreline. 

As we walked through the roadcut, we moved from the forereef to the reefcrest to the backreef. There was a definite progressional change as we approached the backreef, which was where this photo was taken. 

When we reached the shoreline we examined a unique paleosole. Beachrock was forming and what made this so interesting was the diverse assemblege of organisms. The film crew were treated to a description of the beachrock by Tim. They finally got it right after about 6 takes. Tim is quite the actor; able to improvise on the spot. The following are just some of the organisms found: 

  • coral
  • hermit crabs
  • red algae
  • bryozoans
  • gastropods
  • seaweed
  • barnicles
Then we moved on to the McGill Centre in Barbados, which studies the health of the reefs on Barbados. We got a brief lecture from the head reasearcher, then we were off for our first snorkel of the trip. We examined the reefs which have been severely damaged by an overgrowth of algae, but there were many fish, and lots to see even in these reefs. 

We headed back to the ship to make dinner, and preparations for our first leg of sailing, this would be our longest voyage of 119 nautical miles from Barbados to union Island of the Grenadines. We had begun orientation aboard the ship last night, we began by learning terminology, where all the lines were located and what they were used for. As well we began to get the feel of the ship and how she operates, and what is expected of us. 

We learned to say Aye after completeing a command, and call out when you come up on deck or go down below. Everything on the ship is just common sense. With proper care, and following the rules set out by the captain  sailing is easy and most of all fun. 

We set sail for Union Island at 10:30, the stars were out and the moon was full. It was time for Gravol and the test of each person's sea legs. The question was, who was going to be sick first?