Location: Sandy Spit, Jost van Dyke, BVI
Today started much like the past 77 have. I awoke the crew to the gentle sound of fleet foxes drifting through the salon and a quick meal of cereal as we are trying to clean out the cabinets of food before we leave. After breakfast, the salon was filled with people gearing up for a quick hike to the bubbling pools and writing the end of semester note cards to one another.
Bubbling pools were unlike anything I have experienced before. Walking across the island to the windward side, we came out of the dense beachside foliage onto a beach. But rather than this beach looking out towards the open ocean, we were greeted instead by a small pool of water connected to the power of the Atlantic waves only by a small gap in the cliffs, which funneled huge crashing waves between them every 10 seconds or so. Obviously, a number of us jumped straight into the pool and proceeded to get pounded by crashing waves while others skipped rocks or scampered around the cliff sides. It was one of the greatest displays of the Atlantic’s power I have seen on this trip.
Following the hike, we returned to the O. Star in the dinghy for a little bit of BA (boat appreciation) and more work on the note cards. A number of the crew, myself included, then went back ashore for a delicious lunch of burgers and fresh pizzas from a small open patio restaurant/gift shop. After sufficiently gorging ourselves on some land food, we returned to the boat once again to continue work on our note cards or fall into one of the last but all too familiar deck naps, basking in the glowing Caribbean sun. This continued for the rest of the day for most of the crew besides Mattile and I who climbed back in the dinghy, Exy and headed to the small island beach right of our bow. After a short dinghy ride holding on for dear life as Mattile demonstrated her fantastic dinghy handling abilities, we arrived and swam for the next few hours.
Arriving back on O.Star, I found that much of the same activities were happening, and after what I thought to be my last ocean shower, I settled back down to waiting for the freshwater hose and working on some note cards. While laying on deck nice and clean I was asked down into the engine room and was greeted with a huge hug from the oil-covered first mate, Eric, who had been diving in the engine room bilge for the past hour and a half, this proceeded to give me the lucky opportunity for one more last ocean shower.
Our last dinner at anchor was laughter-filled as we all reflected on this trip and how great of an environment we had created onboard and how much we will all miss it. With our nightly squeeze question, everyone was asked to share one of their favorite memories that will make them smile once they go home, so we were all treated with another half an hour of good laughs remembering many of our early excursions and sails. Thinking back on these memories, it is amazing to see how far the whole crew has come since the day when 16 complete strangers gathered together on a dock to begin something that would serve to be one of the most challenging, rewarding and completely absurd experiences meandering about the Caribbean sea.
See you soon, mom and dad!
Signing out for the last time, Peter