Mar 21, 2011
Today we started out eating breakfast in the shadow of “the Quill”, Statia’s volcano which dominates the southern half of the island. Students a Marine Biology lecture about climate change, and ocean acidification. Meanwhile, I prepared the shopping list for supplies that will feed us all the way back to the British Virgin Islands. Once class ended Shanley, Lauren and I headed off with shopping list in hand to provision the boat for our next to passages. We walked up the steep trail to the center of the town. Across cobbled streets with dutch names, past houses built of stone with the sweat of slaves, until we arrived at the rarest of Caribbean establishments, a well stocked grocery store! Loaded down with food, we were able to find one of the island’s three taxi drivers, who drove us back to the dock. Back onboard we had a leisurely lunch, where windsurfing excursions were contemplated, but nixed in favor of studying and schoolwork (finals week is coming up, after all). Around 2:30 we were visited by one of the local dive operators who took us aboard their boat and escorted us down to a wreck called the Charlie Brown, a cable-laying ship donated to Statia to be turned into a dive attraction. As we swam in and around the ship we saw sharks, jacks, eels, grouper, snapper and all other sorts of fish that the shipmates have been learning about for the past 70 days. As I write this the shipmates are preparing the schooner for the student-led passage. Our passage to Saba tomorrow will be entirely planned, navigated, and executed by the student’s themselves, ideally with no staff intervention.