Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia

We went on to deck this morning to see a sky threatening with rain. Luckily it has never again rained the bone-drenching downpours of Fernando. The drizzle passed quickly, and we were able to enjoy our french toast in semi sunshine. After tearful goodbyes, Robbie received the true Caribbean send-off with a conch shell salute from the bowsprit. He will be missed by all. Rangers from the Soufriere Marine Management Area came and spoke with us about how they managed to get fishermen, divers, local authorities, and other locals on board to create one of the first successful protection areas of its kind. Both fish and coral biomass within the area has increased significantly since its establishment. Throughout the rest of the day, they took us diving into three groups within the area near the boat sanctioned as a dive priority area. Many of the more experienced divers agreed it was some of the healthiest and most diverse coral and fish they had seen diving. Some of my favorites were cowfish, peppermint shrimp, juvenile spotted drum, arrow crabs, massive lobsters, fluorescent purple sponges, wire coral, porcupine fish, and tiny trunkfish. The usual jump in showers and sprawled out studying ensued. And finally, after a month of anticipation and countdowns, we celebrated Riley’s birthday with a cake.

P.S. So good to talk to you, Maman, Helene, and Daddy. I miss you heaps and can’t wait to tell you all the stories the next time I see you in person. Et oui, Maman, malgre se que tu dis je suis friere de toi. Grossvatti, thank you for the email 🙂
P.P.S. Amy says hi and sends hugs to everyone back home! 🙂 <3