Location: Charlestown, Nevis
This morning was a busy one! After having breakfast and working together as a team to clean up, we then had passage preparation to make way to Nevis from St. Kitts. Captain Ian wanted to test our sail skills by seeing how fast we could get full sails up for our voyage, and we clocked in around 12 minutes. The record by the staff crew is about 5-7 minutes, so with all 15 of us, we could easily beat that. Luckily we have plenty of other opportunities to show the staff we can sail this ship by ourselves without any assistance. Today we also had a full-fledged fire drill, and in the afternoon, we had the chance to have a fun dive after we anchored near Charlestown, Nevis. The highlight of the day, however, was when we got to go sea turtle watching after dinner on the beach. Emile, in charge of the Nevis Turtle Group, took us down to Lover’s Beach, a well-known nesting site for Hawksbill and Green Turtles. At first, we found tracks of 3 different individuals but didn’t see any turtles, and as we continued on, it felt like we might not see any. However, on our way back from the end of the beach, we excavated a recently hatched nest. When baby turtles hatch, not all of them make it out successfully, and there are some stragglers left behind, so we kept our fingers crossed. We might come across a few. As Emile dug up the remnants of the nest, we found 18 hatchlings left from a total of 150 (Emile and the other volunteers record data on the nests, including how many shells are left for total nest size as well as how many never developed and deceased individuals to calculate the success of the nest). We then proceeded to warm them up and escort them to the edge of the water and allow them to make their way into the ocean to start their journey in life.