written by Mate-In-Training, Megan Lundequam
July 8, 2017
Waking up to the Saturday sights and sounds of the Port of Gustavia is a special treat. Red-billed tropic birds glide overhead with their fresh morning catch, salty mariners get to work on the endless maintenance of their vessels, and families stroll by en route to the patisserie with their children and dogs in tow.
The Delta crew had a rare sleep in this morning followed by a pancake breakfast. After breakfast was all tidied, we all hit the town to shop, explore, people watch, and indulge in the French and West Indian cuisine. The streets here are narrow and quaint, reminiscent of the Riviera or a quiet village in the French countryside. Vespas and open-top jeeps abound as well as both tourists and locals on foot and bicycle. Shop owners close up for a few hours at midday to have lunch and relax before reopening in the afternoon.
After a couple hours exploring the town, we went to the picture-perfect Shell Beach for the afternoon. One stroll along the shore here and you will immediately understand the name—in lieu of sand, the beach here is comprised of intact and fragmented shells that have washed up on shore. The students jumped in the calm Caribbean sea and swam out to explore the rocky coastline along the northeast coast of the bay. After plenty of sea and sun, the crew headed back to the boats for land showers and dinner prep. As fajitas cooked down below in the galley, some of the crew members hung hammocks and lounged around listening to music and people-watching. After a delicious dinner, the crew tidied up and went for one last evening stroll around Gustavia to get Gelato and take in the sights.
The crew wound down the evening watching the full moon rise while some students and staff played guitar together and hung out on deck. Tomorrow is a long passage to the island of St. Christopher, more commonly referred to as St. Kitt’s, so the staff and students are crawling in early to prepare for the day ahead.
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.