Location: Charlestown, Nevis

We woke up to the sweet relief of being anchored on calm seas after our difficult 24-hour passage to Nevis. As expected, after most of the crew revisiting their dinner over the stern and various places on and below deck the previous night, the morning began a bit sluggish with most people resisting my sing-song voice during wake up call. Eventually, everyone rolled out of bed and began the daily routine of applying boatloads of sunscreen (pun intended) and changing into that day’s swimsuit outfit or forgoing changing in favor of a couple more minutes of sleep. This tactic worked well for some people until Smudge, our captain, blasted dub-step till everybody was out of bed and successfully on deck. We proceeded to have bagels and cereal for breakfast with some orange slices and then went right into cleanup and classes before our various 1:30 appointments for activities on the Island of Nevis.
MTE was. First, we have decided we think it stands for Maritime Training Education, but no one is 100% sure on the full name. During class Eric, the first mate explained how lights, sounds, and shapes can be used to convey the position or state of a motor vessel and re-explained the various points of sail necessary for the most efficient sailing power. The material was interesting. However, I think a lot of us were more focused on the stifling heat as we crammed all 16 of us in the salon without the usual AC that comes as a package deal with classes. The heat problem was fixed by the time we started our Oceanography class, as Annemarie so kindly requested. During class, we wrapped up the last lecture slides of geology before our quiz on Monday by learning about sediment. We also did a mini makeshift lab learning the different types of sediment and where they are most likely to be found with various kinds of candy posing as different sources of sediment. Annemarie fully knows the quickest way to learn something is through the stomach with a hands-on activity. After class, we were encouraged to get into our groups and discuss/brainstorm some methods for our group research project.
We had a quick lunch consisting of grilled cheese and some Pringles, cranberries, goldfish, and other snacks. Clean up was also fairly rushed as people began to get ready for the different day adventures on Nevis. The options were a 20-mile bike ride exploring and navigating the whole town of Nevis (we were warned beforehand it was all hills), kayaking, and horseback riding. Naturally, I chose horseback riding along with a few others who wanted a more relaxing experience in Nevis. Although the horse I was assigned to, Hawk made sure I stayed on my toes the entire ride between his tripping, tailgating, stopping to eat EVERYTHING, and pulling hard on the reins. The beach walk and views made it all worth it though, and in the end, I like to think we bonded, I even got him to stop eating for a second and somewhat pose for a picture.
Bike riding was as grueling as previously explained. Most people at one time or another, got off and walked their bikes up various hills, all but Shelby, who powered through pedaling on the bike the entire ride. Go, you champion! There were some stops along the way consisting of much-needed water ice cream and snacks. Riley even managed to snag a piece of chicken from a street vendor and successfully ate it while riding. I was asked to mention that the last 30 minutes of the bike ride was all downhill, so for those parents and friends worrying about the conditions of the bike excursion, it wasn’t all uphill, and from what I heard, everyone who participated had a blast!
The two kayakers, Will and our Oceanography instructor, and divemaster instructor, Annemarie, faced some struggles rowing against the wind, but all efforts were worth it when they went snorkeling, and Annemarie saw a sea urchin and shrimp she had never come across before. There were lots of firsts today, and every minute of the day was jam-packed with adventure and fun. The best part of the day was getting back together and hearing about everyones’ day over dinner. The squeeze question of the night was who has inspired you most in your life. It was really nice to hear that although we have definitely become a family of Ocean Star, everyone was able to discuss their family members and friends and explain how those left behind while they are on this voyage are still very much in their thoughts and hearts. That goes for everyone in my life as well, I love and miss you guys.
Kira LaFace