Location: St. Kitts
Liamuiga, the Fertile Island, was the name that the aboriginal Caribs gave to Saint Christopher, also known as St. Kitts, before the British and the French divided the island between them and renamed it. As it was often the case back in the days “we are talking XVII-XVIII century,” the British and the French did not trust each other much, or anybody else. Such as the Dutch, the Spanish, or the pirates of the Caribbean. They felt the need to build forts to protect themselves from each other and from others and also for us to come to visit them centuries later.
Today, after we learned some theory about how the West Indies Leeward and the Windward Islands formed, we walked our way up Brimstone Hill, to introduce ourselves to the practical aspects of it. Volcanic islands, some of them covered with limestone, rocks, and mortar, which were used by the British, together with materials shipped from across the ocean, to build what is now the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Once we explored the park, enjoyed the views, and were done diving into history, we devoted ourselves for a while to another British invention: Football. It turned into a great teamwork exercise. Nothing like a taste of team sports, any team sport, to let out some steam and really get to know your shipmates.
Once back on board, we went through the tasks that would need to happen in case of an abandon-ship situation. We have three watch teams on Ocean Star, which we use to take turns during passage but also to organize the crew during emergencies. If we were to abandon ship, some would make sure that the emergency kits are with us, others would handle the VHF radio to make a distress call, or more would prepare to launch the dinghies and the life rafts.
The day finished with a variety of socializing activities. From hair cuts, back-flips from the cap rail, to candy sharing and with the first barbecue of the trip, onboard Ocean Star – under the lights of another amazing sunset, followed by the introduction into Student Leadership class. There we had the opportunity to share some thoughts on our personal goals for the voyage.