written by Mate-In-Training, Megan Lundequam
July 7, 2017
In order to give the students some well-deserved rest, the staff woke up at 6:30a.m. and started the sail while the rest of the crew stayed down below and had a nice lie-in. We up-anchored in Marigot Bay and headed north to round St. Martin and eventually head south down the east side of the island until we reached the beautiful island of Ile Fourchue. We anchored in a small bay on the south side and immediately upon arrival, every student agreed that this was the most incredible stop we had made so far. Before we had even picked up our mooring ball, we were greeted by 3 small sea turtles that were just relaxing in the mooring field.
With about 10 mooring balls available to pick up and only two of which were taken, we basically had the bay and island to ourselves. We spent the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, taking selfies with sea turtles and collecting sand dollars, all the while wondering why we couldn’t just spend the rest of our trip in this very mooring field. After a lunch of mac and cheese, we all dinghied to shore for a hike to the top of Ile Fourchue. It was a very steep hike but, as how hikes usually go, the views at the top made every second worth it. We stumbled back down after a few pics at the top and swam back to boats so we could, very reluctantly might I add, begin pre-departure checks and prepare for our sail over to St. Barths.
Although it was only a short 5 nautical miles from Ile Fourchue to St. Barths, the crew decided to raise sails and continue to sharpen the skills they had been learning. We arrived to St. Barths just in time to make it to the freshwater showers before they closed, so everyone was able to scrub some of the salt out of their hair before putting on some fresh clothes. The feeling of being clean and dry was nice while it lasted but, shortly after we finished showering, a brief rain storm came through that resulted in most of our crew deciding to run and dance in the rain rather than try to stay dry.
After a quick dinner and dinner clean, we rounded up the troops and all hit the streets to have quick wander and some ice cream before heading back to boats. We wound down the evening on the docks of Gustavia as some of our crew brought out their guitars and ukuleles and serenaded us as the sun fell, bringing a beautiful end to a beautiful day. Finally, feeling relaxed and ready for a day of exploring tomorrow, we climbed into our bunks and cabins and drifted off to sleep.
The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.