The following are two experiences written by Olivia and Julian, describing their experiences down island and kayaking last week, respectively. After a tiring but exciting three days of kayaking and road tripping, twenty four students arose from their peaceful sleeps to begin a new adventure for the next three days. After morning circle, each group started preparing for a new adventure.
The DIRT (Down Island Road Trip) Team set out for a vigorous run/swim to energize us for the day. After a nice breakfast, we set out for their adventure. First stopping at Princess Cays and learning about the cruise ship industry, we explored the resort and its beauty. Next up was Governor’s Harbor. There we explored the small shopping center asking locals questions about the food and where it came from. Some students ate some local burgers and conch from a stand on the beach. Piling into the van, we headed for the abandoned US navy base. There, while mesmerized by the crumbling building, we learned about how this base was used during the cold war. We learned that the old naval base church now housed meeting for Haitian voodoo and got to look at some of characters first hand. Extremely sweaty and hot, we changed and headed down to the navy beach where we got our first glimpse of the soft pink sand that we heard so much about. After splashing in the waves for some time, we changed and headed to James Cistern to eat at a local restaurant with great food. Tired and stomachs full we got into the van one last time for the night. After driving for a while we finally arrived at out camp site right outside of Preacher’s Cave. Flashlights in hand, we stepped into the engulfing cave and stared in awe at the structure of the site. After a long day, we set up our tents and went to sleep, dreaming of the next day’s excitement.
KAYAK 2 woke up Thursday morning we knowing the challenges ahead of us. A three-day trip that would include a long kayak journey, camping on the beach, and the 24-hour solo that we have heard about so much. Packing all personal and group gear we were all on the water. Kayaking long and hard we reached our destination of Red Bay. Here we loaded all gear on the boat and split up in group focusing on certain jobs so our pasta dinner could be successfully made. Pasta on the beach was a success and certain questions and concerns were addressed during our briefing around the bonfire about the solo. Packing or essentials for our time alone was completed and we all headed to bed early enough to get sufficient sleep to wake up at 5:30 and commence our 24 hours. We were all spread across the beach 100 yards away from each other. Theses spots are where we had to stay and spend the night. Everyone’s night was long, rough, hot, buggy, and lonely. These moments were all shared and told when we were back at base camp eating breakfast and preparing for another kayak back to campus.