Location: Rade de Saint Pierre, Martinique

Bonjour! Now that we’ve made it to Martinique, we’re all struggling to figure out how to speak any slight bit of French to get around. It’s difficult. This morning we all awoke to the good smell of Duncan and Will making pancakes. Now that students are the head chefs and choosing the menu, we’ve had much more complex breakfasts. Very yummy. I have yet to have the chance to be head chef, but I can’t wait to see if I can make something edible for the boat. After breakfast and clean-up, it was time to learn about marine reptiles with Steve. We learned a ton about crocodiles, sea snakes, and sea turtles.

I loved learning about the turtles most, and at the end of the lecture, Steve educated us on the impact that plastic has on the oceans and these animals. This included watching a video about a turtle that had sadly ingested a simple plastic straw and was removed by scientists. Although it was sad to watch, it was successfully removed. I don’t think I am ever going to use a plastic straw again. We then went on a fun hike in the clouds. After class, we had some downtime to work on Literature Reviews for Oceanography, or study for our Oceanography midterm, or write our essay on artificial corals for Marine Biology, or any of the bucket loads of work we have to do. We really don’t have much downtime at all to do our work except at nine at night, so we have to use our time wisely. We were shuttled to land after our work time and driven up the big mountain while everyone guessed how tall the mountain was. I still am not totally sure how tall it is, but I think it was taller than the last hike we went on. It was a fun hike and Wiggy, and I played chess on the top once we made it up.

Then we took some cool pictures and headed back down the mountain. Back at the bottom, we all had some good time before the taxi came to bring us back to the bay, so we ate some good ice cream and goofed off as usual. No dull moments with this crew of hooligans. This is when we most struggled with speaking. The lady working in the restaurant did not speak any English, and we all still don’t really speak French, so it was a lot of mumbling and gesturing, trying to tell her what we wanted. We must’ve looked hilarious to anyone watching us. Then we went back and ordered five orders of French fries for seven of us. We devoured those while trying to figure out why they’re called French fries. We discovered fries were actually from Belgium originally, but a bunch of Americans thought they were French. Hunter says he’s going to call them Belgium fries now instead. I also made a little friend as we ate. I don’t know his name, but a cute little boy who was with his family next to us was making faces at me, and so I decided to make faces back, and he ended up coming over to me, and we played with grass, and he gave me a big hug when he had to leave. He didn’t speak a word of English, so I just kept saying “Bonjour” to him, and he kept laughing, and I kept laughing. It was a slightly awkward encounter, but kids are the best. We made it back to the boat and started showering, but these tiny little shrimp were everywhere! I jumped in with Elle, and the three boys, Matty, Duncan, and Hunter, were in the water, but once in the water, you could feel these small, little beings next to you touching you and pinching you. Very uncomfortable. I got out immediately, but Peyton had to pick these gross little sea creatures out of my hair. I think she ended up pulling about four of them out. Ew, I don’t like having living things in my hair.

After our best attempt at showering without getting in the ocean, Peyton and I both checked each other for shrimp on us. Another beautiful sunset aboard Ocean Star, as usual. We had dinner and a squeeze. We talked about our fears, sparked by having these shrimp by our boat. To end the evening, we had Seamanship with Ian M. He’s still a talker, but we’re all always so tired at night that it feels like his class goes on forever. Because he teaches us such relevant information, especially for us living on this boat, we have to pay attention, especially when we’re tired. We talked about communication through radios, frequencies of radios, using flags to communicate, language tips for communicating effectively. We ended class talking about types of hulls (the bottom of the boat). I’m ready to sleep after our long hike, but I have watch at 10, so I am headed to type some notes and do some studying. Yay!
xo Lucy