Location: Little Harbor, Jost van Dyke

The Long Day (ft. a hike, sandcastle building, a BBQ, and a prank)

Today, we were all woken up and told to get ready for a hike up to the highest point of elevation in the B.V.I.: the top of Mt. Sage on the island of Tortola. Most of us grabbed a granola bar instead of a proper breakfast and spent extra time filling our water bottles and finding our shoes. Right before we got on the dinghy, we were given our phones, which ensured that in the case of an emergency during the hike, we would be able to contact someone for help. After a quick brief of the path to take, the hike began. The beginning was the most intense, with an incredibly steep terrain, which was made even more difficult when also trying to uphold a conversation with friends and family. The road eventually leveled out and made for a much easier hike, though many stopped at a roadside convenience store for cold drinks. Eventually, we made it to Mt. Sage National Park, where at the base of the last leg of the hike was a restaurant. A few got confused and thought that the restaurant was the end of the hike (including myself) but was quickly pointed in the right direction, a tiny trail that disappeared into the woods and bush. After following the dirt path up and down a little way, we were greeted with a wooden platform and an amazing view. There was also a ledger that contained the signatures of every ActionQuest and GoBeyond student who had completed the hike. All of GoBeyond made it to the end of the hike, and while the numbers in the ledger did get messed up, and some didn’t sign it, here are everyone’s guesstimated results: Luke: 5 Nate: 28 Stella: 29 Nicole: 30 Melina: 44 Natalia: 45 Sadie: 83 Emma: 85 Rory: 98 Sofia: 106 Mariana: 115 Olivia: 116

After grabbing drinks and snacks from the restaurant, the walk back down began, which was much easier than the hike up. Once we reached the bottom, we all made our way to a restaurant where we got food and ice cream for lunch. Emma, Stella, Natalia, Nicole, and Sofia also made a stop by the grocery store for snacks. All of AQ and GB then hopped onto our boats and went to a small sandy island where we had a sandcastle competition. There were sharks, sea turtles, octopi, and a mermaid, but my favorite was ours, a monarch butterfly built around Nate, inspired by the name of our boat, Monarch. We were given 4th place (out of 14 boats) for our incredible creation.

Once the sandcastle competition was over, AQ and GB moved once again, this time to the island of Jost Van Dyke, where we ate a BBQ dinner and bought T-shirts from a place named Sydney’s. While we all danced and ate ice cream, we were oblivious to the fact that, at the same time, our boat was being pranked. When we returned to our boat, we found the jib sheets (the ropes that control the smaller sail) tied and looped all across the outside of the boat, with the same thing done in duct tape on the inside. Baby powder was put in the sail bag, across the hatches, and on our lifejackets (which made everything smell nice, so ha), and hotdogs and cheese were smeared everywhere. Two of the lifejackets were tied to a line and hoisted up with an old AQ flag attached, which we decided to put off getting down for the next morning. After cleaning up what we could, we went to bed late and slept through a thankfully dry night.