Location: St. Pierre, Martinique

“With each warm morning sun that hurts your eyes fill your heart with light and begin to feel your energy. You have the power to harness that light for yourself, and to spread it any way you want to. Positivity, and all the colorful, meaningful, and adventuresome aspects of this trip is what I am taking in. I have things that bother me but if I let that in instead of letting it be, I’d be dimmer within holding onto meaningless memories. Seek the simplicity of your very own desires here and share those positive intentions with the people you live with. As your light shines around, it reflects directly back to you even brighter.” There is an abundance of energizing light in the Caribbean, and each day I come to appreciate it more. Most especially as we lay on deck today with the afternoon sun on our backs after hiking Mount Pelee. At around 9am we were at the base of the mountain, amidst a completely different climate than the warmer air at sea level. Ascending up thousands of steps into fog then lead to a vertical-like trail of volcanic boulders beneath misty rain clouds. Vegetation surrounded us the whole way, and pictures were snapped of the vast green mountain peeks when the clouds subsided for some seconds. We were all pushed to our physical limits experiencing the different elements of the hike. Though this was the toughest hike yet, it was a chance to shake out our restless sea legs and underlying frustrations to reach a common goal. As we stood amongst the whirling winds and pumped up french people, the yellow stake stuck out of the ground marking our highest height we would reach on this trip. I thought about how proud I was for getting to that exact spot in the world, and if only I could scream love and thanks to the close ones that have helped me get to that high point. We all screamed out of sheer satisfaction, and to mimic the french enthusiasm. We’ve all got a lot of heart for this experience individually, and today showed us all that even with differences among us, our crew all ascended to 1400 meters. Making our way back down sense of direction was lost among the clouds and I know I felt like we hiked up and around the mountain again on our descent. I fell down the foc’sle as my legs gave out trying to get to my bunk to get my wetsuit. Immediately dive gear was set up for deep dives. Taking no time at all to hop in the water we descended 90 feet, the deepest point we’ve reached on this trip. Some of us couldn’t complete basic math under that kind of pressure, possibly being in awe of all the blue we were suspended in. The highs and the lows and everything in between, we are beginning to feel like a team.