Location: Jost Van Dyke

Today was an extremely energetic, fast-paced, and simply exciting day. It started the way all our days start; being shaken into a state of half-awake at 6:30 a.m. This morning we made pancakes, and after scarfing them down, we headed into Great Harbor in Jost Van Dyke to pick up the kids for one last day with them. We brought them on Spindrift II, and as you can imagine, it was a tad chaotic! With thirteen of us and about eight or nine of them, there was a lot of noise! The kids were so excited about every little thing on the boat, from the sail to the dinghies, which brought the wonder and excitement of discovery back into our hearts. We sailed to Great Tobago and the kids put on fins, masks, and snorkels, and we swam around the boats and a rocky beach. The kids were so high energy, and it was exhausting (but very rewarding) to play with them. Some kids were swimming in the ocean for the first time, or it was at least a very new experience for them, which was thrilling to witness. After we dropped the kids back off at Jost, we said goodbye for the last time. They were such an amazing group of kids, and although a lot to handle, we were all upset to see them go. Many of them left different members of our crew little gifts; one even made a little scavenger hunt in our boat! We made a dinner of beans, rice, and hot dogs, and then got ready for our next adventure: night snorkeling! Most of us were a bit terrified; we headed out at 8 p.m., so it was already pitch black out.

We got on our fins, snorkels, and masks, and hopped into the water armed with flashlights, buddies, and adrenaline. Although many of us were a little freaked out, night snorkeling turned out to be one of the most mysterious and breathtaking experiences. We slowly swam along a coral reef with our flashlights illuminating sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and other sea life that only dared show themselves at night. We even caught sight of an octopus resting on a rock, it was pale blue, slightly translucent, and incredible. Even though it was a short swim, every second of it was highlighted and lengthened by the new wonders that arose in the dark, inky water. It’s a whole different world down there, one that we’re so lucky to be able to observe here. Especially at night, the ocean is truly magnificent and leaves you with so many questions. All in all, it was an extremely full day that left us all exhausted. But the good kind of exhausted– the one that as you fall asleep washes over you with a sense of accomplishment, appreciation, and understanding.