Today was a great day! We woke up and went to breakfast and then had a little bit of downtime before we went into the town. We went in to the town and found a place to eat lunch before our boat ride. We ate at the Sun Dog Café, and it was excellent. From there we walked a block or two to our sailing location. Once on the boat we had a very relaxing ride. When we arrived at the place to snorkel everyone got on their gear and jumped in. Because I was unable to participate I took quite a few photos of people in the water. The boat was a very relaxing experience and so fun! We then had to make yet another trip to the store to stock up on food. While we were there we saw one of our students and I realized how much I miss them. I felt so happy being able to see a student on the weekend and was disappointed when I remembered that we had Monday off. I have developed a very different attitude toward education and school on this trip. In one short week I have realized just how lucky I am, and I shouldn’t take that for granted. I cannot wait to get back to teaching on Tuesday and already feel a little sad that this next week is going to fly by. (Although a bug free shower won’t be the worst thing in the world)
Today was a day full of tanning, boating, and snorkeling! We got to sleep in a bit, but breakfast ended at 10, so of course we had to wake up and get our French toast. Then all of us grabbed our swim suits and our wallets and went to the town to shop and wait for the boat to take us on a ride. All of us spent our money on cute shirts and ice cream, and then made our way to the dock. Sam, Katie, Linda and I were lying on the front of a boat trying to tan while we sailed. At one point, the boat was tipping to the left a little and I was maybe about a centimeter from falling off the boat into the water…that was a little scary! :) Finally we docked near the shore and 3 2 1 we were in our gear and ready to jump in! The water was beautiful and you could see everything so clearly. There was a lot of breathtaking scenery under the water, and we took lots of pictures with the underwater camera. It was surreal. Once we were done snorkeling, we all grabbed our drinks and took a nap on the front of the boat. Later, we went to the store to stock up the food for the week (as usual), and then came back to the cabins, had dinner, and then just chilled. Pretty good day!
After a quiet morning, we headed off to Cruz Bay to do some shopping and get ready for our sailing/snorkeling adventure. The girls loaded up on gifts and souvenirs while Christine and I checked out the visitors’ center for St. John National Park. It was really interesting reading about the history of the island and how the culture has changed throughout the years. When the sugar plantation owners began their work, they ordered their slaves to tear down all of the forests, destroying the natural habitat. It’s taken decades for the land to regrow and begin to heal. Although the land is much more protected now, there is still damage being done by individuals building their homes. We learned of one such individual today on our snorkel trip. Our guides explained that the man had built his home into the side of the hill, but didn’t have a view of the sunset, so he cut a portion of the hill out even farther for his own personal sunset. In doing this, he cut out property that belonged to other individuals and partly to the national park. It’s such a shame that while many are trying to restore these islands and take care of the habitat it creates, some are using it for their own personal gain.
The snorkel trip went extremely well. Captain Jason and First Mate Leslie were great guides, giving us some history of the islands we passed. We had some rain before we started, but it cleared up just in time for our trip. The water was beautiful, and the coral and fish were plentiful. They took us took a great spot just off the coast of Lovango Cay. The girls hunted around for a sea turtle but to no avail. We sailed back to Cruz Bay and made a quick stop so the girls could restock their snacks. I think I see early bedtimes in the near future for the girls tonight; everyone is a little tired. Looking forward to whatever tomorrow brings!