Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
So driving a boat is hard. I learned that today when a small beeping noise that came from a watch on my wrist reminded me that I was skipper of Grins today. The day started bright and early, 6:45, with a breakfast of assorted Quaker Oats. After cleanup, we headed straight for an old copper mine. Let me tell you, it was a unique experience and not what I expected. I expected smokestack towers and underground passages, but that is not what I found. The mine was beautiful; layers of coarse rocks lined the beach and coast of Virgin Gorda. The waves were a whole other story; we climbed above the rocky ledges while waves made explosive sounds. The raw power of nature prevailed in the whole area. After a long while of climbing, picture taking, and simply enjoying, we headed for the beach. The beach was also not what I expected – it was lined with the strangest assortment of trash. From water bottles to tires, shoes to trash cans, it needed a little bit of work from the Lifeworks crew. We cleaned for a while under a hot sun and discussed the harmful effects of different types of plastics (high-density polyethylene [HDPE], besphenol A [BPA], all the likes) on marine ecosystems and how they affect us. It was truly enlightening. After finishing at the beach, we headed out for some tasty lunch in Spanish Town – burgers and ice cream pretty much always hits the spot after a long day of work. Then we returned to the boat for a smooth sail to something called The Baths. An interesting name for an even more interesting spot, I thought to myself. The Baths were something else. Huge, smooth, flat rocks sat in groups right on the coast. The boulders were close enough to the water to create semi-lit caverns filled knee-deep with warm water straight from the sea. It was blue water, gray boulders, and white sand for ages as we explored the new area. Although we weren’t supposed to swim because of a recent sea-wasp (a type of jellyfish) sting at The Baths, we managed to make it about waist deep in the water. Luckily, that was deep enough to embark in some more rock climbing. We then participated in my personal most favorite part of the day – on deck showers. For those of you who don’t know what that is, all of the students dress in bathing suits and straight up bathe in the sea. Complete with shampoo and shaving, it’s always a good time. It was an overall lovely day; I think we can all agree on that. It was worth the few scrapes and scratches we all managed to acquire in some way/shape/form. Infinite thanks to the staff and everyone who made this day something to write home about.