Location: Pitons, St. Lucia

Blog readers, blog readers, blog readers, this is Ocean Star, Ocean Star, Ocean Star, Amelia here with the daily blog. Over.

We started this morning with early wakeups (6:45 am for everyone except Teagan, who got to sleep til 7:05 am) in order to get ready for our Pitons excursion. Luckily, most of the bugs from last night’s swarm had disappeared! After a delicious breakfast of veggie frittata, we cleaned up, packed our lunches (pad thai!), and hopped in Irv to head to shore. A quick walk along the beach and up the road led us to our taxis. Nine shipmates hopped in one taxi and six in the other, and we drove just a few minutes up the mountain to our first destination: the mud baths. Over.

Stepping out of the taxis, we were greeted with the strong smell of sulfur, a result of being so close to the volcano. One by one, we stepped into the scalding hot mud baths. After weeks of ocean showers, it took a moment for us all to adjust to being in the hot water. But it didn’t take long before shipmates were drawing designs on each other with dark grey mud. We soon found out that we had skipped a step and had to wash off our original designs to coat ourselves with light grey mud. After the light grey mud had dried, we went back to drawing designs on each other and eventually rinsed off in order to continue with our tour. Over.

Our next stop was the botanical gardens. We walked along paths lined by trees, vines, and flowers and eventually ended up at a waterfall – our first of the trip! We packed up and drove to our last stop on the tour – the {not so} hot springs. Over.

At the hot springs, our taxi drivers said goodbye and left us to enjoy ourselves in the three pools. We scarfed down our packed lunches and then spent the next couple of hours hanging out in the pools, sitting under the waterfall, and cracking open coconuts. Around 1:30 pm, we walked down the road to the beach where we were dropped off this morning and shuttled back to Ocean Star for the afternoon. Two oceanography quizzes and fourteen showers later, we were on our way back to shore for a beach-front dinner with a sunset view of O Star. Everyone enjoyed the decadent meal of fried fish, barbeque chicken, scalloped potatoes, plantains, rice, and salad (along with some milkshakes, fruity drinks, and an entire bowl of maraschino cherries). After heading back to the boat, we ended the night with a squeeze in the dark, and shipmates hit the hay to get ready for a big day of diving and classes ahead! Signing off for the night. Out!