Location: Vixen Point, Gorda Sound
A bad decision to stay up last night left me feeling dead in the morning, but the promise of a project day left me excited. We woke up at the ripe hour of 6 am, like real productive American adults, and everyone ate Cheerios and Special K while underway to Spanish town. We enjoyed our short motor over, under ocean blue and cherry pink morning skies, paired with the rough green hills that have become so constant to us. When we arrived at Spanish town, we took shadow over to the dock and left her there, proceeding to walk over to our first project site of the trip. When we arrived, we were greeted by a vast green local garden filled with plants of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. We were soon split into our roles, ranging from pulling plants out of the ground to clear area, leveling a floor, sanding doors, sawing wood, and more. We met with an island partner by the name of Julie, who knew nearly everybody on the island and owned a recycling plant that collected the entire island’s collective recyclables. Her plant, home, and community were hit hard by Irma and Covid-19, so her being here, still working hard, and engaging in community projects showed the endurance and selflessness of the islanders. Reese, Jake, and I didn’t have any jobs at first, so we cruised around in her pickup truck, first stopping at her recycling plant, which was a massive site filled with all different types of power vehicles as well as glass bottles and many different buildings which would be amazing to see in action. We continued on to a place where we picked up sheet metal for the greenhouse roof and headed back to the worksite. We spent the rest of the workday under the merciless sun, protected by sunscreen and the occasional breeze, as well as scattered shady spots. We worked for a solid six hours on the greenhouse, and although it was hard, it was definitely a rewarding experience that brought the group closer as a whole. As everybody paired into teams to do different jobs, everybody’s mutual effort, tiredness, and insight boosted our motivation and kept us going the entire time. When we were finished, we said goodbye to Julie and headed back to the boat on the shadow. We took the most satisfying ocean showers of our lives, rinsing off six hours’ worth of sweat and dirt, and changed into clothes that were not yet blemished by our previous activity. We then motored over to a new location, where we talked to our families for the first time of this trip, which gave everyone a bittersweet feeling of homesickness, one of the strongest yet felt since coming on this boat. However, once we got our phones taken away, we were back in the groove of things and ended our day’s adventures with amazing food awaited since yesterday—chicken sandwiches, pizza, and more- by far the best food we’ve had yet. Later we did squeeze and ended our day under the stars, satisfied by a day’s hard work and a stomach full of heavily anticipated, mouth-watering food.