A Sunrise, a Snorkel, and a Song!
At 3:45 a.m. the alarms went off – it was time to watch the world wake up! With no moon, no stars, and no flashlights, we stumbled as carefully as we could along the 1 mile trail and up to Ramshead Point. After an hour and a half of moving in at times total darkness, simply trusting our feet to be our eyes, we finally reached the top. There we sat down in silences and waited for Mr. Sun to make an appearance! It was quite windy and very quiet, and a spiritual experience for many. We tried to sit as silently as possible, trying to avoid “monkey mind” and to only think of the space and the experience. The slowness of the change in the atmosphere from dark to light was subtle in a very magical way.
It was so cloudy that we saw no stars, but to our surprise, the cloudiness worked to our advantage! We were able to look directly at the sun, which lifted from the sea as a bright orange ball rising up slowly on the horizon. The surrounding clouds were tinted a beautiful shade of pink.
Then it hits the clouds
Group picture on Rams Head
We trekked back across Blue Cobble Stone beach listening to the sounds of the pebbles being rocked back and forth by the gentle surf. We made our merry past Salt Pond to Drunk bay where tourists go to leave their mark in the form of coral sculptures lining the shore and rocky cliff faces of this east facing beach. We left our mark by spelling out Hollins with pieces of coral, with the hope that we can return to it intact the following J-term. As we wandered the beach we grew hungrier and our thoughts quickly drifted towards giant stacks of chocolate chip pancakes!! Donkey Donkey Donkey we chanted on the way to the traditional Diner. It lived up to our expectations though we had to wait for an hour before we saw food – but we all left happy and well fed.
Drunk Bay wildness
Finally we got to snorkeling at Salt Pond Bay, where we saw a small reef shark, a juvenile angel fish, many turtles, and a spotted eagle ray. Although it was a sandy beach rather than a cobble stone beach, many of us enjoyed the rays on the sandy beach as we reflected on the abundant diversity of the life in the sea at our feet.
We finished our day with a magical presentation by Ital, a native Saint Johnian who dedicates himself to the traditions of the island such as music, dance, art, and medicinal plants and herbs. We all had a great time learning how to play and dance to African drums, sing songs, use natural healing powers of the islands, and live life to the fullest. Ital told us that we need to dedicate ourselves to the preservation of our world and to be responsible for it. It was a fantastic way to end the night and another spectacular day. Another day awaits us – to bed for a bit longer tonight!
Group picture with Bard College students that share the station with us.
Signing off – The Dancing Queens (Mary Ellen and Maddie)