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 down pours 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 fisherman, 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 in 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 a cow fish, peppermint shrimp, juvenile spotted drum, arrow crabs, massive lobsters, fluorescent purple sponges, wire coral, a 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 cake.

P.S. So good to talk to you Maman, Helene, and Daddy, miss you heaps and can’t wait to tell you all the stories 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