Location: Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Mariana’s Sweet 17!

We all slept especially well after being exhausted by all that late-night cleaning, hiking, and BBQ dancing. We woke up with a blasting of various versions of birthday songs to celebrate Mariana’s 17th birthday today! We had way too many pancakes for breakfast and went on a deep dive for a fork lost over the sugar scoop during dishy pit. We left Sidney’s for a sail out to Brewers Bay, where, as usual, most of us slept the entire way there, jenga’d together between the dining area and the blue lagoon. Upon arrival, we were greeted by even more beautiful sights and illustrious water. Thanks to our chefs Olivia and Sadie for yet another delicious meal, we began to head out for my favorite kind of community service, turtle tagging! The first group of Stella, Nate, Luke, Natalia, Nicole, and Sophia went out via dingy and reported seeing stingrays, sharks, pufferfish, and squids. I stayed back and made a carrot cake while Olivia made another cake for the celebrations tonight. Finally, it was our turn. I went out with Sadie, Mariana, Olivia, Melina, Rory, and Nate as our spotters. We got dragged by a dinghy out to the most stunning snorkel spot yet (in my opinion). We were swimming over a carpet of fan coral, moving with the waves and fish dancing below us. Olivia called me over because she found a shark! We followed the friendly shark around the reef until we heard Rory call us over. When I say this lobster was massive, I mean it. The lobster was hiding under a rock, but we could easily see that it was at least two feet long and maybe 2/3 feet wide. The only lobster I could properly call family-sized. We also saw stingrays and arches of vibrant coral polyps that made me feel like a fish swimming with everyone and coming back with Lindsey dragging us behind at full speed, where all I could see was a face full of bubbles. We showered and had dinner, then celebrated Mariana’s birthday with two different cakes. To end off the night, we watched Captain Phillips or at least some of us did, while the rest fell asleep.

– Emma