Location: Fort Bay, Saba

The swell that could be felt aboard Ocean Star throughout the night and this morning made for a sound night’s sleep. However, everyone was stirred awake to the sounds of morning music and the smell of cinnamon coffee cake courtesy of head chef Marina and sous chef Max. After breakfast, the crew gathered hiking shoes and gear needed for the day ready to be spent ashore. Starting at the base of Saba in Fort Bay, we hiked up to the town of Bottom and continued up until reaching the Crispeen trail. To the relief of the group, we were met with shade and a cool breeze as we hiked through the forest towards Mt. Scenery and the town of Windward. Close to the end of the trail heading to Windward, a fork in the road meant that half of the group would continue on up to the summit of Mt. Scenery, the highest point in the Netherlands, and the other half would head into town. As it was Sunday, the town was relatively quiet save for a few restaurants and boutiques. The highlight of Windward for us, however, was Jobean’s glass bead shop, where a variety of handmade glass beads and small sculptures are made. A few students bought souvenirs, and we were given the opportunity to make beads of our own! One at a time, those who wanted to sat down and melted glass in various colors onto a metal rod, adding flecks of different colored glass and shaping the bead into their own unique art piece. Happy with their purchases and finished products, everyone headed back into town for a bite to eat, indulging in milkshakes and getting in touch with loved ones via the Wi-Fi available at the restaurant. As suggested by the staff, upon heading out of Windward back towards The Bottom and Fort Bay, instead of hiking back the way we came, we all proceeded to walk with our thumbs out, ready for a ride. Everyone participated and, with much success, managed to hitchhike back down to Fort Bay, enjoying the route that follows the edge of the mountains with an incredible view of the Caribbean Sea. Upon returning to Ocean Star, a quick was in order to cool down before going straight into group presentations in OCE that were the culmination of the students’ hard work on their research projects throughout the semester. Relieved to have made it through their presentations, everyone hopped in for showers before enjoying another delicious meal of tropical chicken with veggies and rice, gathering energy in preparation for their oral exams in PEN. With the sea being much calmer this evening than it was the night before, the crew is winding down for an early bedtime after a day full of exploration on Saba, looking forward to the day of diving set for tomorrow.