Location: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
After spending the entire day yesterday staring at the intriguing green island that is Fernando de Noronha, we got the news that today we would be going on a tour of the island. The day started off with spinner dolphins, which visited Argo just as we were finishing up breakfast. Everyone went about their breakfast clean up jobs excited at the idea of finally seeing more of the island and for their first steps on land in 12 days. It wasn’t long before we piled into the dinghies, riding the swell to the nearby dock.
On land, we piled into the open-air backs of three trucks for our tour of the island. We soon found out what land smells like as we sped through the green hilly roads of the inner island on our way to our first stop: Goat beach. That beach was probably the nicest beach that any one of us had ever seen in their lives. We walked to the end before piling back into the trucks.
We left that beach for another beach, this one requiring a short hike to get to. We followed the boardwalk through the lush green forest for a view of the beach far below us.
Slightly confused when we were given the option of descending to get to the beach, and then ascending at a specific time, we soon realized that getting to this beach requires following a time schedule because you must climb down a long ladder to get to the bottom of the cliff. We decided that we would rather go to a swimming beach.
Our third beach stop of the day was on the other side of the island. There we got the news that we were lucky to have arrived at the time we did because a nest of sea turtles had just hatched. We rushed down to the beach only to meet a man carrying the baby sea turtles away in a bucket. He was in a hurry and didn’t want to slow down for anybody. However, we did learn that he was collecting the baby turtles to protect them from curious humans and would be studying them and releasing them safely later.
Having woken up at 6 am this morning, we were all hot and hungry by the time we were headed to lunch. We were driven to a spot to have a picnic lunch. Everyone was really excited when they saw that the place had green grass! After a relaxing lunch, some people took the time to call family and friends, take naps in the sun (a mistake), or practice doing cartwheels in the grass. After a long lunch break, everyone was hot and ready to get back in the breezy trucks. However, after spending so much time in the heat, everyone had finished all their water. Eventually, some went to the nearby restaurant to ask for water, causing a long line up of students waiting in line for their water bottles to be refilled. The restaurant worker found it very amusing that we were all so excited to have ice in our water.
After leaving the lunch spot, the tour finally brought us to a beach to swim at. Everyone had fun cooling off playing in the ocean, and all too soon, we had to leave because the beach was closing. The tour then brought us to the center of town so that we could all explore and have some free time before planning to meet up again to go see the sunset. Some people went and explored the shops, while others got ice cream or snacks for our next passage. We met up in the evening to hike up to the top of the fort overlooking the ocean to see the sunset. Afterward, we said goodbye to our amazing tour guides, and all went out for dinner. It was really nice to eat out together, and everyone enjoyed the live music. It took some convincing, but eventually, Marissa went up to sing. We were all happy for her and in awe of her music. By the time dinner was finished and we made it back to the dock, it was 11:30 pm. On the dinghy ride back to Argo, we realized that today was the longest time we have ever spent away from Argo since the semester started. Everyone went to bed tonight tired from the long day, and ready for more adventure tomorrow!