Location: Charlestown, Nevis

Our stomachs armed with a breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, the Ocean Star crew headed ashore to meet our legendary cab driver and tour guide, Hilarena, on the dock at 8:45. Hilarena fed us ginger mints and chocolate candies on the ride to the stables (for Alex, Tessa, Miranda, Skye, Claire, and Kylie) and Oualie Beach (for Steve, Jules, Matt, Kyle, Dan, Tina, Margaret, and Mari). While Team Horsies headed out for an hour and a half stroll through trailside and beachfront, Team Bikes ripped off on a cycle-round-the-island adventure with steep inclines and tire-burning downhill sprints. As a representative from Team Kayak, my view of the day is admittedly objective and skewed, but believe me when I say we had the most fun.

Right now, it’s blowing 15-20kts in the Nevis, with small white-capped waves making it even into some of the bays. Margaret, Mari, and I were undeterred by the conditions. However, flying downwind in our kayaks towards a small beach, where we spent an hour eating our snacks and exploring rocky outcroppings full of snails, limpets, and chitons. By mid-morning, we decided it was time to head back, knowing that the upwind leg back to Oualie beach was going to be a brutal test of arm and ab strength.

We weren’t wrong! Margaret and I set out in the tandem kayak while Mari, the most experienced kayaker among us, paddled out in the single. It wasn’t so bad cresting over the waves when the wind let up, but when it blew hard — whew, we’d paddle as hard as we could to keep ourselves from going backward! It took us about half an hour of hard, all-out paddling to get to the edge of the bay where we first started. By that point, we were soaked from spray and headwinds and had spent the journey laughing and shouting to one another and singing to keep our moods high. The Margarets are both big fans of musicals, and at one point, we rewrote some of the words to a popular Les Mis tune, so One Day More became One Bay More: a tale of three soggy kayakers pushing through the final stretch to get a reward of smoothies and french fries. Luckily we were able to grab onto a mooring and rest for a little while before making the final fifteen-minute push back to the beach. We finished in high spirits, returned our kayaks, took some victory photos, and headed to the nearby cafe for the promised smoothies and french fries (with bonus chicken tenders thrown in).

The second most exciting part of the day was picking up our clean laundry from the laundromat with Hilarena (I promise you won’t see me wearing the same pair of shorts in four consecutive blog posts ever again, mom). Afterward, we headed back to Ocean Star for passage prep to get the boat ready for our longest trip yet. To Grenada, we go: wish us luck, and we’ll see you on the other side!