Location: St. Pierre, Martinique

Today I really felt as though the essence of what we set out to do on this voyage was captured. I was reminded today of weeks ago before we left the dock way back in West End, Tortola we were asked what are goals are prior to this trip embarkation and I recalled that “living in the moment” was my challenge and reflecting back on today I realized I was to obtain my goal. There wasn’t anything particularly dramatic or profound that happened, it was simply the right combination of awesome people that have got it figured out, combined with a beautiful day, stunning terrain and French baguettes that allowed me to go for the ride. Martinique, home to the infamous Mt. Pelee volcano which devastated the port town of St. Pierre, is our first French island we have visited this trip. St. Pierre, where we are currently anchored and rolling heavily due to the swell, is as sleepy on a Sunday as the massive volcano looming over the town. We had planned on doing a deep dive as part of the advanced open water course but the large swells have suspended the sediments so much that the visibility is greatly compromised so we have decided to reschedule. It was an obvious decision, as the blanket of clouds concealing the peak majestically emerged, that we should hike to the top. On such a sleepy morning in town we fully relied on Edouard’s politeness and mastery of the French language to sort out a Taxi to get us to the mountain. Eight of us hopped in the bus and scaled the lush slopes while practicing our French accent as fellow hikers passed we tried our best “Bonjour”. As it was an optional hike, the non hikers took advantage of the opportunity to put the finishing touches on their oceanography presentations. After their work was sorted, they ventured out on their own to find some of the ruins that remained post eruption in the early 1900’s. As the sun set, the clouds parted one last time as if Mt. Pelee was saying goodnight and thus, it was a perfect day to live in the moment.