Location: Kingstown, St. Vincent
After a beautiful sunrise over St. Vincent and some breakfast, the students and staff took Exy across the harbor past a slew of sloops to the nearby dock where we traveled along the coast by taxi to visit the oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere. During the course of the expedition, we saw many of the plants that were brought to the island by early European settlers and traders and learned of their uses such as the spice trees cinnamon and nutmeg as well as the Christmas pine and the exotic lobster claw plants. One of the strangest was the cannonball tree, which sprouted a mass of tiny limbs that encircled it entangled with flowers that bloom year-round, but each last only a single day. Additionally, we saw eucalyptus plants and the travelers palm from which we learned to retrieve water for survival purposes. To cap off the journey, we visited the parrot habitat where students got an up-close look and a chance to handle the exquisite birds. The highlight was when a few of the students got one of the parrots to squawk out MoMo, our Instructor’s nickname. After the garden, the students headed into town for provisioning and a bit of free time and local cuisine before heading back to the boat for an evening of studies and sail prep for our early launch the next day.