Location: St. Vincent
Even though the morning was gray and drizzly, we had a salon full of smiling faces eating chocolate chip pancakes, awaiting our only full day on the island of St. Vincent. In our morning Oceanography class with Emma, the shipmates learned about how water circulates through the world’s oceans and why the Caribbean is so always so pleasant and warm to swim in. After class, we were up for a full day’s adventure of volcano hiking! We took a taxi across the island and were dropped off at the base of Soufriere Volcano (4,000 ft), which last erupted in 1979. It was a steep uphill climb, but after many days of sailing and diving, my legs welcomed the hard work. We hiked for an hour and a half, passing through rain and Montane forests until we reached the lip of the volcano’s crater. At the top of the volcano, the temperature abruptly dropped, the wind whipped in our faces, and clouds descended around us. It was my first time being truly cold in the Caribbean (and my sweat-soaked shirt didn’t help!). The clouds would part for small intervals and allow us to gaze into the breathtaking crater with a smoking volcano dome in the middle. We ate our lunch at the crater, and I hurried down quickly to the warmth of the forested trail. Chicken cutlets are on the menu for dinner tonight, and after dinner, we are watching TED talks that feature marine scientists and ocean adventurers!