Location: St. Vincent

Hello Family, Friends, and other blog readers,

A day technically begins at midnight, so I will share the events of the day starting here. Matt B and I were up late last night (this morning) studying and doing school work. A bit after 12:15, Matthew made his way to the saloon and distracted Matt and me for a bit, but our will power was strong, and we powered through and continued studying for the Oceanography Midterm. At 1:00, I proceeded to get some shut-eye and was ready to rid myself of fatigue. I was then woken up for anchor watch, which I had from 3:00 to 4:00, and made sure that our mooring wouldn’t let us drift off to see. Good news, nothing remarkable occurred.

I then returned to my slumber after watch, and woke up a short two hours later; it was time to get everyone up for the earliest wake up we have had this semester. At 6:00, I played a bit of Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” to shipmates who were shockingly sprouting out of bed seamlessly. Our yogurt and granola breakfast was filled with laughs as Tye told me and a few others that he had never been awake at that hour before, and had no idea what it was like to be awake at 6:00 am. The sun rising was a sight to behold as we finished up breakfast and packed our lunches so that we could shuttle over in dinghies to shore.

All 16 of the students, with Sasha and Amanda, fit into the taxi- that I continued to call “The Bus.” An hour later, we arrived at our volcanic destination, or so we thought. The Volcano hike was predicted to take 2 hours to the crater, and 2 hours back. However, many of the students decided that this was not good enough and raced against the clock. The over-achievers were successful and were faster than the 4-hour prediction. Most people say that “it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.” And I would like to respond with, “but was your destination the top of a volcano in the Caribbean?!” The hike was scenic and all, but the view from the top was the best reward. The hot sun was definitely taken for granted when we made it to the top since the intense wind was threatening to blow us off the cliff. We were also up so high that we basically ate our lunches surrounded by clouds and were shivering (The irony of shivering on an 80 degree F day was most definitely noted).

The way back down was much faster than hiking up, and we were challenged with plenty of loose rubble. The foliage also came around to fight, with the tree roots being tripped over, and the palms and tree trunks being walked into. Olivia, Matthew, and I entertained ourselves on the way back down by singing multiple songs. It ranged from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” to Blink 182’s “All the Small Things.” We also delivered an entire a capella performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was flawlessly put together. When we made it to the bottom, it was about time to hop into “The Bus,” and head back to our floating home. We did enjoy the scenery on the way back, which involved black sand beaches, twisty roads, and many (many) cows. The cattle count was much higher than any other island we have been on, and it was quite entertaining.

When we returned to our vessel, the students mustered in the saloon to take our Oceanography Midterm Exam. After we wrapped up, some free time was spent doing more school work and showering before dinner. We had an early dinner of pita pizzas, prepared by Isabel and her sous chef crew of Captain Steve and Cara. It was a peaceful dinner that ended with the all famous “Squeeze.” Today, following our appreciation of the day, I asked each of the crew to reveal their hidden (or not so hidden) talent. From singing to reading and doing “double-jointed” activities, everyone shared their uniqueness.

The sun was setting, and as Chief Ensigneer, I lowered our stern flag (aka ensign) and laid her down to rest for the night. Tonight we have an exciting Leadership class planned that will have us look more at ourselves and at those around us (but on a deeper level). We have another early wake-up tomorrow and plan to head to St. Lucia as quickly as possible.

I Love you, Mom and Dad, Tim, Dan, and Lauren. And Happy Belated Birthday, Maddox.

And for all of you readers out there, thank you for checking out the blog. If it weren’t for you, who else would we tell about all of the amazing things we do?

Until next time,
Kasey Z.

– Amanda, Matthew, Olivia, Kyle and I smiling over the fact that we reached the top of the volcano
– Our view at 6:00 am
– Some of the crew excited about riding in Exy
– Selfie #1
– Selfie #2
– Everyone packed into “The Bus.”
– Amanda being surprised that there was still ample room left in “The Bus” after everyone fit
– Literature about our conquered volcano
– The view from the crater
– Cattle, with a castle on the hill
– Scenic view #1
– Scenic view #2