Location: Petit Piton, St. Lucia
Petite Piton is a volcanic spire rising some 2,438 ft straight out of the ocean, but thats just an abstract number when you read it. Its quite different when you are groggily clearing your eyes of sleep from the chart house hatch, and you look up to see such an island thing staring you down as if say youre an ant to an elephant, and I get to see the morning light first, you have to wait. Thats how every morning goes here on this mooring a few hundred yards away from the base of the Piton, a beautiful sky and a humbling from a mountain. After landing on the beach, the crew stumbled its way up a dirt road to meet our new friends James and Jamal, whod be driving us around the Pitons. The first stop, the caldera of an active volcano. Here, surrounded by only the best of aromas, bright and fragrant sulfur, most were mesmerized by burning hot grey mud spouting from the ground while our guide Selma told us more about volcanic geology than we knew existed, an important point being the smell brings safety, if it stops you should evacuate or risk being blown sky-high. With a new great confidence that today would not be the overdue day for an eruption with this much stink, all were treated to the best of spa days, a messy one. Covered head to toe in white and grey mud, the crew was perfectly camouflaged into the rocks. Much confusion followed as a few of us were found to look haunting and barely human, much to our enjoyment. From here we were whisked away and brought to the botanical gardens of Souffre, where our guide Alex the great showed off by giving a perfectly accurate fact about everyones home state, then proceeded to point out using his umbrella the most beautiful flowers and plants in the garden with such intensity you’d worry the flowers would burst into flames from his excitement. Being punctuated by a visit to the Diamond Falls, the crew was swept to our final stop, a quaint and unassuming jungle hot springs pool. With a winding walk back to the beach in the shadow of our towering Piton, most had likely submitted to the sulfur wafting from their skin, barely noticing it, likely now loving it in an olfactory twist of Stockholm syndrome and happy for the warmth of the springs. The day came to a satisfying conclusion with an evening free dive session for a few and pizza for all. I’ll leave the details to be spoken for through the photos, till next time, good night and good luck.