>> Tuesday, February 26, 2013
On February 14th we (all the students, the educators, and a few adventurous crew members) set out onto Saint Eustatius to hike the Quill. The Quill is a dormant volcano- it looks like a mountain that someone took an ice cream scooper to the top of. The hike was beautiful, but a little too hot for my liking (I guess that's what I get for taking a trip to the Caribbean). The trail wound back and forth up the lucscious mountainside and was littered with exotic wildlife. At least every few minutes, I spotted another dry land hermit crab. They are peculiar little buggers about the size of a golfball and all red and purple. I also saw a red bellied racer snake and some unidentified local insects all blue with orange tentacles. The most astounding animal I encountered, however, was a rooster. He was at the very top of the mountain, a good 45 minute walk. He was certainly not the least bit shy, and seemed friendly enough. That is, until we pulled out our lunches. The instant he saw our food, he channeled his inner dinosaur and turned into the most tenacious food thief I have ever seen. He could give my dog lessons. In his attempts to steal our delicious PB-n-J sandwiches, he went so far as to hop onto Cameron's lap and try to peck the sandwich out of his hand (Happy Birthday Cameron!). Soon, however, we developed a strategy to repel his assaults; any time he came near, we would show him the underside of our feet in his face. This carried on for a few minutes with him approaching each of us in turn to find a weak link, until Mira arrived. Mira, who had been admiring the wonders of the rain forest had lagged a little behind, but when she arrived she approached our feathered terrorizer and without hestitation scooped him up in her arms. In a matter of seconds, she turned the fearless theif into a docile lap-pet. Then, calmly as ever, she ate her lunch with the lttle bugger tucked under one arm.
A trip to the Baths
Rock walls press close in the space around me. The huge grey giants balance tediously on one another and look like they are about to give way at any second. Above, cracks of sunlight sneak in, putting a spotlight on the smooth, hard walls of rocks. I run through the maze of foot-wide passages between rocks bigger than houses. My feet splash in the inch of water that covers the sandy floor. This magical world that should only appear on the set of a movie is the Baths.
Anchored in the bay of Virgin Gorda, the Schooner Harvey Gamage is now a place that 21 new students call home. We are all rapidly learning the language, concept and lifestyle of sailing. We went ashore to explore this part of the British Virgin Islands as a field trip for science class. It was so awesome! The huge healthy reef at the Baths provided an excellent snorkeling opportunity. Dazzling fish of every color of the rainbow swam by, tickling my feet. Solitary groupers sulked in the shadows of the reef, refusing to look any snorkeler in the eye. Schools of minnows crowded the surface of the water, ready to leap out and evade any predators. When it was time to leave the paradise island, everyone loaded back up on board and we sailed into the sunset, anxiously awaiting our next adventure.
|A Watch: Mr. Leathers, Chief Mate; Parker Gassett, Deckhand; Diane Sternburg - Literature/Head Educator; students: Ben, Cameron, Clayton, Alex, Sarah, Hila, & John|
|A Watch striking a silly pose|
|B Watch: Mr. Klodenski - 2nd Mate; Timba, Deckhand; Pamela Ugor, Educator, Caribbean & Maritime History; students: Luca, Diego, Andrew, Teagan, Myron, Chelsea & Cassidy|
|B Watch striking a silly pose|
|C Watch: Mr. Alvin, 3rd Mate; Blythe Brugger, Deckhand &
2008 Alumni; Phil Thompson, Educator, Marine Science; students: Joe, Thomas, Carter, Hayden, Mira, Elias & Anna|