Location: Saline Bay, Mayreau

This morning was filled with a classic Blue Planet documentary (everyone loves learning about deep-sea creatures) and a VHF exam (congrats to everyone on their radio communication certifications!). After an early lunch of delicious vegetable fajitas, we began our largest task of the day: the long-awaited Leadership Challenge Course.

Immediately after lunch, we divided into our three watch teams. Watch Team 1 consists of Ben, Zac, Ruth-Riley, Lenox, and myself (Isabel L.). On Watch Team 2, we have Luke, Pearse, Julia, Jodie, and Kiara. Mike, Will, Margeaux, Isabel A., Sophie, and Zoe make up Watch Team 3. Throughout the afternoon, we would work in our teams to complete an island-wide scavenger hunt, striving to get the fastest round trip time. Each team departed the boat in 15-minute intervals, with Team 3 leaving first and Team 1 leaving last. Being a member of Watch Team 1, I’ll do my best to chronicle our experience. Each group did receive the same clues, so their sequence of events flowed similarly to ours (though likely much more speedily).

Our first clue led us looking in the sky towards the halyard, which pointed us to shore. After some brief deliberations about whose shoes would fit in the dry bag, we leaped into the water to make the 15 minutes swim to the dock. As we arrived, we realized that the dry bag was something of a misnomer, as everything in the dry bag was, in fact, wet. However, we didn’t let this derail us and quickly checked Erv for our next clue. We followed a trail of clues across the island until we found Adelaide on the other side of the island. I should note that this journey was made even more difficult by the fact that our map was soaked through and utterly illegible. This made utilizing latitude, and longitude coordinates a bit tricky.

Adelaide tested our teamwork skills with a carpet flipping activity in which we all had to stand on a small blue towel and flip it over without any of our feet leaving the towel. I was impressed by my team’s efficiency and time of just under 3 minutes. I later learned that we were the slowest group.

We next went rushing back across Mayreau in search of a salt pond. We found the pond, along with an adorable dog who tagged along with us for the remainder of the course. Riley named him Goat. We headed with Goat over to the windward bay, where our final (and greatest) challenge awaited us. We needed to dig a tunnel through the sand under an electric fence (read: metal bar) so that each team member could pass under without being electrocuted (read: touching the metal bar). Not reaching our heads across the line proved difficult: it took us 4 attempts to succeed. After we dug up at least one thousand conch shells and copious quantities of sand, I managed to wriggle headfirst underneath the bar. I could then help clear a pathway for my teammates from the other side, and it was relatively smooth sailing from there as each one of them also slid headfirst below the bar.

Victorious, we read our final clue, which leads us racing (and swimming) back to Ocean Star. Or, more specifically, to Ocean Star’s starboard anchor, on which we needed to free dive to retrieve a sail tie. I dove down first to loosen the knot, and Zac followed to finish untying it and to bring it up to the surface. Upon turning in our sail tie and collected clues to Steve, our Challenge Course was complete.

Perhaps you’re now asking, so which team won? Alas, despite our best efforts, Watch Team 1 did not, in fact, emerge victoriously. Watch Team 3 finished in the first place, with a time around 2 hours. Watch Team 2 came in second (roughly 2.5 hours), with Watch Team 1 in third (3 hours).

At dinner, everyone, regardless of team, gushed over how much they enjoyed the afternoon. I know I certainly loved roaming the island with my shipmates and competing in different minigames. Overall, the Challenge Course proved a great success.

Picture 1 – Mike swims back to the boat
Picture 2 – Watch Team 1 heading towards Ocean Star
Picture 3 – Watch Team 3 prepares for departure
Picture 4 – Can you spot our heads in the water?
Picture 5 – Isabel L. makes it under the metal bar
Picture 6 – Zac wriggles under the metal bar
Picture 7 – Ben and Isabel L. digging
Picture 8 – Lenox sliding under the metal bar
Picture 9 – Lenox and Ruth-Riley off to find another clue
Picture 10 – Watch team 3 working through the magic carpet challenge
Picture 11 – Watch team 2 flew ready for the next clue
Picture 12 – Watch team 1 straightening out the carpet