Wowzers, it was a big one. Today was our first excursion day, which involved our first early wake-up. The chef team absolutely smashed it (shout out to head chef Katie with sous chefs ML and Clara) by having breakfast and lunch ready and on deck early, for being a half hour early (7 am instead of 7:30). By 8 am we had eaten breakfast, packed lunch and finished cleanup. The dinghies were zipping back and forth to shore with groups ready to head out, either for horse riding or bike riding adventures. A smiling face greeted us shortly after stepping foot on land. Hilarena, our taxi driver, brought fresh flowers for all of the ladies and then told us about the history of the island and surrounding landmarks as we drove through town.
I joined the bike riding group for a sweat up the hills of Nevis, but the turquoise water and lush forest-filled hills surrounding mount Nevis, the highest point of the volcanic island, were well worth the effort. Our turnaround point was a convenience store where we all indulged in the luxury of cold drinks and snacks. The ride back was, in fact, not “downhill both ways” as the kind gentleman who rented us bikes had described, but it was a lovely ride, and we made it back in time to head to town, where the students had several hours of shore time to explore and stock up on snacks for our upcoming big passage to Grenada. Several fan-favorite reports of the afternoon included a visit to the nearby hot springs, seeing the home of Alexander Hamilton, and eating lots of delicious food.
As for the horse riding group, a first-hand account from Nick: Everyone had so much fun riding horses. The ride included a tour of the town, a walk on the beach, and even a bit of time in the water with the horses. Overall it was an amazing experience for everyone despite some of the group getting sunburned from being in the sun for so long.
Meanwhile, on board, Ash was working hard on scuba diving gear maintenance for our underwater adventures to come.
Sam was off provisioning lots of yummy foods for our first round of student-selected menus, which then meant a lot of teamwork was needed to put all of the provisions away before dinner.
All and all, it was another memorable, action-packed day on Ocean Star.
Photo 1: Headstand fun
Photo 2: Mid-biking pit stop
Photo 3: sunset on the dock with friends
Photo 4: bikers
Photo 5: Sara taking in the views
Photo 6: swimming or horseback riding?
Photo 7: more horses!
Photo 8: ^^^
Photo 9: ^^^
Photo 10: ^^^
Photo 11: Nick loves baby goats
Photo 12: Julia!