Location: Roseau, Dominica

Wow, where to begin. We awoke this morning anticipating a fruit tour, but what most of us had in mind (a bus tour around the island stopping at various locations to try the variety of native fruits Dominica has to offer) didn’t even come close to the incredible journey we had. The morning began in our guide, Sea Cat’s van. We wove our way through the mountains of Dominica and, after a half, an hour pulled into a farm. We piled out of the car, and Sea Cat’s farmer friends took us around their plantation to see pineapples of all shapes and sizes, avocado trees, sweet potato fields, sugar cane, and best of all, baby piglets. After trying a few fruits fresh out of the field, we got back into Sea Cat’s van for our next adventure. Then, as we were driving back down the mountains, the car stopped. Sea Cat rolled down the window, reached out, and handed around a plant of some sort and told us all to smell it. What was this thing we were smelling? Lemongrass! The same kind most of us have only seen in tea bags when we’re suffering from the occasional cough or cold. This event proceeded to occur a dozen times. Sea Cat would stop the van reach out, and we’d suddenly find our selves with a handful of rosemary, basil, nutmeg, cocoa pods, you name it. But this wasn’t all, after stopping at the island’s Carib reservation to purchase some toys and knick-knacks for our families, we were off to a beach with an amazing wave break. We all ran out, and a few of us attempted to body surf. Noah, Brandon, and I were less than successful, but nonetheless, it was refreshing and fun. Then, it was in the car again and off to the emerald pools. We pulled up, not knowing what to expect, and our minds were blown away. The emerald pools are a massive freshwater spring fed by an incredibly beautiful waterfall. We dove in, swam around, and cooled off. I don’t think any of us wanted to leave, but Sea Cat said time to go, and off we went. Where next? Trafalgar Falls. We pulled up to these falls, still reeling off the unbelievable beauty of the emerald pools, but we were startled to discover that, compared to Trafalgar, the emerald pools’ waterfall was little more than a sink faucet. We climbed our way to the freshwater basin at the bottom of a massive, fifty-foot waterfall, shivering from the unexpected coldness, but awed at the power and natural beauty of the site before us. A perfect rainbow curled around the base of the falls right over our heads. Sea Cat waved us on all too soon, but none of us could complain, we were on our way to natural hot springs at the base of the falls!

After the frigid falls’ water, the hot springs were a real blessing, and we all sat around talking and taking in the day. There was just one thing to left to do when we got back to Ocean Star, and it was an event we had all been attempting to ignore in the splendor of the day: Ivy’s Oceanography Midterm. After Sea Cat drove us back to our dock, we crammed, crammed, crammed, although most of us felt well prepared without this cram session (we’re a brilliant crew, after all). The exam came and went, and as a few of us gathered on deck to discuss some tough exam questions, the final event of the day unfolded: MEGHAN’S 19TH BIRTHDAY. What a birthday today was! I think all of us were a little bit jealous that we had never seen the likes of birthday like this one. Meghan said it was hands down the best birthday she’d ever had, and as we sang to her, watched her blow out the candles on her funfetti chocolate cake, and dug in for dessert and an hour or two of Finding Nemo, we all agreed that of all the incredible days we’ve had while living aboard Ocean Star, this was one that would stick with us forever. We all found ourselves putting off going to bed because we simply didn’t want it to end.