Location: Trellis Bay, Beef Island

This morning was the staff meeting meaning a lot of responsibility was put in our hands. Kris, Riley, and Annie left at 8:00 am and left us all to cook breakfast and run the boat without supervision. Spencer and Ivy were the chefs for the day, and they made pancakes for all of us. They tried to put MandM’s inside, which was really delicious. I will say it was a struggle trying to control everyone in doing their various jobs and making the beds, but I think I managed well without the safety net of the staff to fall back on.

After they came back from the meeting, we put PFDs on and sailed across to Trellis bay. Sun cream, tools, and work gloves were put into the dinghy, and we slowly made our way over to the shore, where we met a taxi to take us to CAMS college to start helping out. After arriving, the team introduced themselves, and then we split into different groups to carry out different tasks. I was with Tilly, Jackson, and Aly, and we walked down the hill to the waterfront to collect mud for the mangroves in the nursery. We were given a little background information about the mangroves and how badly they were affected by Hurricane Irma. It was really interesting to see the amazing work the college was doing to restore the mangrove habitat. The shocking statistic of 90% of mangroves destroyed by the storm truly stuck with me about the amount of work the college and others have been doing to build these numbers back up. Buckets and shovels in hand, we dug and filled our buckets with mud. I will say it was very hard manual labor carrying the extremely heavy buckets overflowing with mud up the hill, and I will admit we did have to take multiple breaks when climbing up.

We broke for lunch at 12:00pm and had GoBeyond’s infamous PBandJ sandwiches. After that morning workout, I defiantly had seconds. Moving further throughout the day, we switched around groups, and I ended up helping out at the firehouse with Tilly, Jackson, Cassidy, Spencer, and Max. The job was to clear the weeds and vegetation around the surrounding wall. I grabbed my work gloves and put myself to good use straight away. Midday on the BVIs was extremely hot, and it was clear that after an hour, we were all overheating. After the weeds were cleared, Mark (one of the workers at CAMS) turned on the sprinklers, and we had a very refreshing shower. It felt so nice even when Tilly sprayed water all over me, getting my clothes and shoes soggy. After a hard day’s work, we were given ice cream sandwiches by the school. I can’t put into words how grateful I was to receive such a delicious treat.

The long but beneficial day of work came to an end, and it was super cool to think of the difference we made in helping out the community. Our little actions aided the college, and it was nice to think I made a difference in something so big in that area. We hopped in the taxi and drove back to the dock, where Riley met us with the dinghy. We chilled on the top deck for a while, and then it was time for dinner. Spencer and Ivy made tortellini and salad, which was so good. After that, we cleaned up, did the dishes, and watched a movie in the salon about farming.

It’s safe to say the day as a whole was a lot of hard and sweaty work, but it was great to see what we had accomplished in such a short space of time. Tomorrow oversees more action-packed service, which you will soon hear about, but that is all from me for today.

Love you, Mom and Dad xx