Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia
I woke up to the smell of halloumi burgers being made for the packed lunch the group would be taking on their excursion. I, unfortunately, had come down with a little cold, so I wasn’t able to attend, but I heard all about it and enjoyed my quiet time on the boat. As we ate a quick breakfast of cereal and fruit, the group was buzzing, excited for time ashore. As soon as breakfast was over, we started loading up the dinghies, and Lucia and I waved them goodbye and settled in to get some rest and relaxation.
When they arrived in St. Lucia, they went straight to the botanical gardens, where they had the opportunity to buy little souvenirs and then took a tour, gawking and marveling at all the beautiful flowers and plants. When they had finished soaking in the gardens, they headed for the volcano, and they were immediately smacked in the face by the smell of sulfur. We can actually smell that sulfur from the boat, so you can imagine how strong it must be in the volcano. The guide reassured them that the smell was actually a good thing (debatable). It confirms that the volcano will not be erupting anytime soon, though it probably should, as it’s around 200 years overdue for an eruption. The feeling of being inside an active volcano is so strange, but they knew they had nothing to worry about as long as that smell was assaulting their noses. As they walked along their path, they came across a stream that the guide encouraged them to dip their toes in, and they were shocked to find that it was just as warm, or probably even warmer than a hot tub.
When they’d made their way through the volcano basin, they hopped back in the van and headed to the mud baths, arguably the highlight of the day, though it’s difficult to choose because this is such a great excursion. The baths were the perfect temperature, warm but not too warm. If you’ve never been to a natural mud bath, it might not be exactly what you’re picturing. Essentially, “mud baths” are warm pools formed in malleable clay, so you walk into the water and then spread the clay on yourself. Almost everyone covered themselves in mud, but Maxime, Eamon, and Sam made sure to cover their entire bodies in the clay. While the clay was drying, everyone stood around waving their arms because the clay took such a long time to dry. Steph and Stef (or as we call them, Staff Steph and Stefi/Coach/The Mountain/The Mid-Ocean Ridge — she’s still earning that last nickname), sunbathed with their mud masks in the pool; it’s almost like a spa :). After that, they all drove to the mineral springs, where they could swim and get completely clean of any lingering mud.
By the time they returned at around 2 pm, I was feeling quite rested, and Logan had brought me a bar of dark chocolate, so my mood improved drastically, and we all sat down for marine biology, which is always a treat. Then we had some free time to swim, shower, and just hang out, which we were all very grateful for. Our wonderful chefs, Sam and Lucy, whipped up a delicious dinner — of breakfast — so we all enjoyed pancakes, bacon, and potatoes for our final meal of the day, under the stars and soaking in the beauty of St Lucia. It was another wonderful day on Ocean Star, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we feel luckier and luckier to be here each day.
Till next time,
Photo 1 — The Mountain and the stream
Photo 2 — Some very muddy kids
Photo 3 — A beautiful waterfall
Photo 4 — The three mud-sketeers — Eamon, Maxime, and Sam
Photo 5 — Eulalie in all her muddy glory
Photo 6 – The aforementioned Logan, covered in clay
Photo 7 – The gorgeous botanical gardens
Photo 8 – A lovely bridge at the gardens
Photo 9 – The gardens again