Location: Ile Fourchue, St Barths

The day started for me at 5 am for another amazing sunrise hike in lle Fourchue. I filled my thermos with a hefty pour of instant coffee and grabbed my favorite hat with the hope of catching an amazing sunrise. I will definitely say the wet entry onto the beach took us all by surprise and definitely woke us up. The hike itself was stunning, and I really felt like I was in the Hobbit. The rolling green hills and fun rocky crevices made for great views, but I didn’t expect the path to be half rock climbing. This rock-climbing part most definitely contributed to a coffee-stained shirt, but it didn’t matter because, at the very top, KT, Carli, and I found the most perfect cave there ever was to enjoy the sunrise. We all agreed the cave would be a core memory for years onward– it was THAT special. I really appreciate Heather, who saved my new hat (bought in Les Saints) from flying off the top of the rocky peak and into the abyss. I almost had a heart attack as I watched my hat roll away from me in what felt like slow motion. When I lose a hat, a part of me goes with it. Anyways, the views were gorgeous, and I highly recommend the hike to anyone who has the opportunity to do it, especially during sunrise. After an amazing breakfast of egg sandwiches, we got started on our rescue diving course.

At this point, I am all too familiar with the phrase, “diver, diver, are you okay? Inflate your BCD and drop your weights!!”. I will definitely be saying this in my sleep. We practiced rescuing tired and panicked divers, which was a sight and most definitely alarmed the surrounding anchored boats. Imagine seeing twenty people yelling and flailing in the water, screaming “HELP!” relentlessly for at least 30 minutes. Lunch was Bruschetta with fresh goat cheese and figs, which tasted gourmet! In the afternoon, we had a class with Heather and learned about the negative impacts of fisheries and modern mandates that work to combat these issues. It’s crazy we only have two or so more lecture classes before the final.

Time has flown by. After Oceanography, we continued with our Rescue Diver skills, where we learned how to calm down a panicked diver underwater, how to navigate/find a lost diver, and how to safely carry an incapacitated diver to the surface. While the issues are incredibly serious, re-enacting these scenarios is hilarious. My buddy (Carli) and I definitely laughed a ton, especially when I struggled to carry her to the surface– don’t worry, she survived. Following the afternoon activities, we had a nice dinner of burrito bowls and another Rescue Diver skill session explaining how to use the various emergency oxygen sources for struggling divers. All in all, it was a great and busy day! A perfect one for my last blog post and skipper job of the program )):
Thanks for listening!

Photo 1: Hike views
Photo 2: Alexis eagerly awaiting our return
Photo 3-15: Various shots from the hike, including our perfect cave
Photo 16-18: Rescue diver action