Location: Oranjestad, St. Eustatius

Today was full of adventure. After a nice breakfast of oatmeal bowls, we quickly gathered our scuba gear in preparation for some epic morning dives with Golden Rock dive center. Once all divers were ready, and our equipment was delivered to the scuba boat, we were on our way!

The friendly dive guides efficiently briefed us on what dives we would be doing this morning. We did one shipwreck, the Chien Tong, and one artificial reef; both were around 80 feet deep. The visibility was nice, so we were able to get a good look at spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, octopi, lobster, and countless stingrays. The fish were fairly unbothered by us because the waters are protected marine parks where fishing is strictly prohibited, so they weren’t used to humans being a direct threat.

After our two hikes, we made our way back to Ocean Star for a quick food refuel of grain bowls. Without wasting a moment, we headed back to shore for an afternoon hike up the second-highest point in the Netherlands. The hike had a pleasant range of steepness, and the trail was beautifully wooded with cute hermit crabs crawling along with us (RIP my pet hermit crab Henry from when I was 10). Once we hit the top, some people swiftly headed down to have a little time in town, while others stayed at the top and looked out over Statia for a while before heading back to catch the last dinghy ride back to the boat. After dinner, we had oceanography, during which we took our last quiz and gave our literature review presentations (we didn’t quite get through all of them, so we will finish them up in the morning, for now, good night!)