July 27, 2016
This morning, our crew awoke on the mooring ball in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten. We got underway just after wakeup and headed for the next island on our itinerary, Sint Eustatius, or Statia. It was a beautiful five hour sail to Oranjestadt where we picked up a mooring ball upon our arrival. Excited to see more of the Leewards, the crew quickly got packed up and headed ashore to explore.
Once all on land, we walked up into town, our first stop being the historic fort Oranjestadt. We all had a great time looking around the ruins and learning more about Statia. After the fort, our group spent a few hours walking around Oranjestadt, visiting a grocery store and and getting a feel for the town. Afterwards, the group split into two, six students and a couple of staff members going for a sunset hike while the rest of the crew headed back to the boat. A famous attraction on the island, the arduous Quill hike took our students through the rainforest and up to the rim of the island’s extinct volcano. The group even saw a tarantula on their trek back down, making their expedition complete.
All back on Rioja, our crew showered and got ready for an exciting night out ashore. Once dinghied to the harbor dock, our group departed for our special evening activity: a pageant show! At the cultural event, we had the chance to hang out, munch on local fare and watch as four young women competed to become Statia’s next queen. Exhausted from the day’s activities and our big night out, we headed back to the boat and went right to bed, happy to have yet another new stamp in our passports.
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.