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…What a DAY!!! When life gives you Waterlemons…

January 15, 2013

Today was one of the most INCREDIBLE days of our lives so far. We will never forget all that we saw, felt, experienced, and learned. We began with a brisk hike all the way up to breathtaking Ramshead. On the way, we noticed the big, graceful century plants, many with holes in them.  It turns out that weevils were the culprit – they eat the plants until they are sometimes completely destroyed.

We also saw small, barrel-like cacti with red flowers called Turk’s Head. They were everywhere! When we finally reached the cliff’s edge, the view was stunning – clear, blue waters crashing against the rocks, a salty breeze invigorating our bodies, and magnificent hills lurking on the horizon. It was indescribable. We took a fantastic group picture, ate Dove chocolates, and picked out our “spots” that we will sit at on Ramshead when we watch the sunrise in a few days.

Group shot Ramshead small

group hiking from ramshead small

Next, we headed down Ramshead to Blue Cobblestone Beach – almost everyone’s favorite beach. Gorgeous, smooth, indigo rocks covered the beach, and the ocean water rolled over the rocks creating a beautiful sound. We had a really good snorkel where we observed an exotic Queen triggerfish, French Angelfish, Porcupinefish, an abundance of Parrotfish, and even eels.


After we got out of the water, we had a relaxing, spa-like experience as we lay on the beach’s hot cobblestones. Some of us arranged the rocks on our legs and backs like a hot rock massage. It was luxurious enjoying the warm sensation and listening to the tide flow up and down the cobbles.

blue cobblestone small

We then got all our gear together and headed back to VIERS. On the way, we learned that a jeep can NOT go in reverse when the ignition hasn’t been started. HA! We ate a delicious lunch back at camp. A couple hours later, we got in the jeeps, headed to Waterlemon, and did a very productive beach cleanup and hike. We picked up over 500 pieces of trash, both marine and land, that weighed about 28 pounds total – even more than last year’s beach cleanup.

backpacks in tree at waterlemon

picking up trash

We then snorkeled at Waterlemon and it was VERY dramatic. We saw a seahorse, barracudas, Houndfish, millions of silvers, an upside-down jellyfish, and a sea turtle. After that, we quickly threw on our clothes and hiked up to the striking plantation-era ruins to watch the sun set over the island. We walked up the crumbling, stone steps of the vine-covered Murray’s House ruins and watched the golden sun sink behind the hill. It was majestic! We saw the British Virgin Islands, Mary’s Point, St. Thomas, and the colorful sky.

watching sunset small

sunset 3 small

After it began to get darker, we hiked back down to Waterlemon for the exhilarating NIGHT SNORKEL. We attached reassuring glow sticks – some red and some green – to our snorkels and carried waterproof flashlights with us. At first you might have been scared, but then you felt only excitement, surprise, and curiosity. All that you were able to see underwater was what was in your flashlight beam. It was so cool – very silent, very still, and your own little world of grasses and species and wonder. We saw crustaceans that we had never ever encountered before, mating sea slugs, curious barracudas, reef squid, 3 octopi, so many moving brittle stars, Cardinalfish, a huge Porcupinefish, and a little green crab with red spots waving his little arms.

night snorkel

We climbed out of the dark waters and onto the sandy beach where we got dressed and gazed at the stars. We formed a conga line and hiked back to the parking lot – flashlights prohibited! Nobody tripped because your body gets used to it and even more flexible and agile when you aren’t able to see. When we reached the parking lot, we looked up at the stars once more.


It was hard not to think about all that this beautiful and wondrous universe has in store as we studied the sky. Today was one of those days that we will remember always. We are fitting an entire month’s worth of magical experiences into just 10 days – and it is JUST fantastic.


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  1. Mary Barone permalink

    What a great descriptive post. So glad everyone is having a great time. Tell Mary Ellen happy birthday!

  2. Patricia Knox permalink

    Very detailed post, I felt like I was experiencing it with you guys. So glad you are having a great expereince. Absolutely wonderful.

  3. Kathy Sheffer permalink

    Wonderful blog! Your day sounded wonderful. Little sister, Caitlyn, reads the blogs and Is counting down the years until she is a Hollins student. She plans on four J-terms in the Caribbean! Kristie and Hannah, please don’t forget Caitlyn’s treasures she asked for!!! We will patiently wait for the next blog! Have another beautiful day!

  4. Suzanne permalink

    You did Ramshead, Blue Cobblestone, cleanup, Waterlemon, Murray’s house ruins and a night snorkel all in ONE DAY?!?!?!?!?!

  5. Terri Franklin permalink

    Wow, what a day! Please bring some of that sunshine back with you.

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