Delta 2 Trip Update Day 4 – Eric, Program Director
The sun had not yet broken over the horizon, but the staff were busy aboard Arwen with an early de-mooring so we could pick up our last student arrival. Nearly everyone slept on Arwen while staff motored back to Anse Marcel, where we anchored with the help of Joaquin, an early rising student. Once PD Eric had been dropped ashore to go to the airport, Patricia J anchored alongside Arwen, and both boats made breakfast. As the sun rose higher we knew that the stormy front from the prior couple days had passed and we were on for clearer weather.
After breakfast, captains KCK and Hannah went ashore to clear customs, where they finished just in time for Eric to return with our final arrival, Edwin. With our entire group finally together, we were clear to set sail away from St. Martin and off to explore new islands. We headed south east past the northern point of St. Martin, leaving Tintemarre on our port side, and steered for the French island of Ile Fourche. During the 15 mile sail, some students chatted on the high side and enjoyed the roller coaster swells that were left from the windy past few days. Liz steered the boat much of the way, with Grace helming for the last 4 miles before reaching Ile Fourche.
Ile Fourche appears at first to blend in with the island of St. Barths beyond, but slowly stands out as a rugged and rocky little island with a perfect natural harbor within. Unlike the lush rainforest islands a mere 30 miles south, Ile Fourche is rocky with poor soil and only sparse cacti and agave plants dotting the landscape. Gracie stepped up to the wheel to help her crew drop sails and pick up a mooring ball. Both boats took a couple tries, but persistence paid off and the crews learned to communicate better – with great success!
We had arrived at Ile Fourche, but there was much time left in the day, so we grabbed our snorkel gear and went to have a look at the inner protected shore of this marine sanctuary park. Liz, Joaquin, Lucy, and Davis saw a small nurse shark with Eric, and much of Arwen’s crew explored a little rocky beach that is nearly invisible from the sea.
Back on board the boats, we had dinner of Hawaiian chicken and rice, and baked a cake for dessert – yum! Eric used the outboard motor to demonstrate how bioluminescent plankton reacted to disturbances in the water, and everyone fell asleep looking at the dark night sky, far away from the rest of the world.
Special Note: Due to the remote location of Delta 2 and subsequent poor internet connection, Day 5’s update may delayed by one day. Stay tuned for more photos and tales of adventure to come in the next couple posts!