Location: Sandy Spit, Green Cay

Hi, my name is Olivia, and I’m the skipper for today. First off, Happy Birthday, Sofia!! We started off the day with a wonderful breakfast of breakfast burritos with fruit made by Nicole and Emma. Then, we were all set and ready for the day. We left Sandy Spit and took a quick trip over to Diamond Key. Once we arrived, we were greeted by Susan, who gave us an introduction to our mission for the day. We were to spend the morning planting mangrove trees that were developed by the nursery her project had. Ever since the Hurricane, the ecosystem built around the mangroves has been missing and harming the young fish and organisms that depend on the mangroves for protection. Once we reached the area where we were going to plant them, Beth and Kris helpfully divided out the seeds so we were able to plant them. Then it was divide and conquer! We spent around the next hour planting mangroves. Though it was muddy, and there were quite a few crabs, we finished in no time and felt very accomplished. Once most of us were done, we decided to explore. We saw some really cute baby sharks. Sofia was really happy to see them. She said it felt like a birthday wish come true. Emma also ventured out on the bank, and many of us got to see our first live conch that she found! It was really cool, and a lot of us were really fascinated by it. Then, we decided to do a quick beach cleanup on our way back. All of us were helping out and picking up beautiful shells as we went. Once we had walked along the beach, we stopped at the bar to get a cool down before we went off to the boat. Both me and Sadie were really grateful to receive ice for the first time in a while to put in our water bottles. The bar staff must’ve thought we were a little odd. We all put in our drink orders with Virgin Pina Coladas, strawberry daiquiris, and a couple of Shirley Temples. We were all very thankful for the nice and cold refreshment. Once we returned to the boat, our chefs were nice enough to make us quesadillas for lunch, which really hit the spot since everyone was quite hungry. After that, we were off! We had a three-hour boat ride ahead of us, filled with naps, music, and rain, apparently. Lindsey and Beth led Rory, Nate, Emma, Luke, Nicole, Natalia, Melina, Stella, and Sofia singing in the rain, jumping on the trampoline in the bow through the waves. We were all grateful to arrive and take a nice breather to shower and get ready for dinner. We all took a quick shower and got ready for dinner, which was delicious. Emma and Nicole made us risotto and Caesar salad. Then, after cleanup, we all gathered around and sang Sofia a good Happy Birthday. The cake was DELICIOUS!