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Location: Martinique

We awoke this morning to the sweet smell of chocolate chip banana bread and the sweet sound of soulful Drake songs (yes, they exist!!) The crew then went off to tackle Mount Pelee. This hike began with the roughest part of the trek and is fondly known as the “Spirit Breaker” for reasons that quickly revealed themselves. Frozen sweat and shaky knees accompanied us on our long climb to the crater rim. Once at the top, the group split into two groups; one group went to summit the mountain while the other chose to walk in a circuitous route around the crater rim. Our chefs prepared a delicious mid-hike meal of grilled cheese with mushrooms and Brie for us to bring along. The wind was too strong to stop at a peak for any meals, so most students paused at one of the shelters to munch down their food out of the wind. The summit was fantastic to behold, but we could only stay for a short while, as we needed to make it back in time for the cab. This began a mad dash down the mountain as we raced to arrive at our designated meeting place on time. It turned out that our cab driver was late regardless, but we shared laughter and smiles on our fast decent. Meanwhile, a few shipmates stayed behind on Ocean Star to give her the love and attention she deserved after a pretty rough passage yesterday. A solid four hours of blood, sweat and tears later, we came back together to motor on over a bit closer to tomorrow’s exciting dive site. Dinner was a phenomenal honey mustard chicken, couscous (and quinoa for the gluten-free folk) and a vast array of leftovers. We’ll spend the evening on the second lecture of the challenging Navigation Master portion of Seamanship class if we can keep our eyes open after such a long and exciting day!