Step aboard and prepare for the journey of a lifetime! Rise with the sun and share in the responsibility of maintaining your floating classroom. Over the next two and a half weeks you will serve as the skipper, first mate, navigator, dive safety officer and chef for this journey. Waste no time jumping into the turquoise water to learn how to scuba dive, or have a quick refresher if you’re already certified. Learn fundamental sailing skills while discussing the geology and natural history of the Leeward Islands on your sail to Ile Fourche. Initial lessons focus on fish ID, coral reef ecology and the interactions between different marine ecosystems. A sunset hike to the top of Ile Fourche’s rocky peaks gives you a view of mountainous islands in the distance – Saba, Statia, and St. Barts – all waiting to be discovered.
After an early morning wakeboard session, make the short hop over to the St. Barts Marine Reserve. Find an abundance of marine life and the ideal environment to begin studying marine animal behavior and interaction, such as schooling and pairing, predation and predator avoidance, nesting verses territorial behaviors and more. Take a break to explore the capital of Gustavia and sample its delicious homemade ice cream and crepe desserts. After a little bodysurfing, investigate the water beneath the breaking waves and how the ocean’s movement affects nearby reef systems. Learn about the delicate balance required to sustain healthy coral reefs, then dive below to map the diversity and abundance of fish and coral species on Pain-du-Sucre, Castlemount and Rockefeller Point.
Sail to Statia to find a thriving marine park, healthy reefs and a growing artificial reef system. Slip below the surface to explore the Charlie Brown, an impressive 327-foot cable laying ship that is the newest addition to Statia’s artificial reef program. After a discussion with local stakeholders about marine resource management and the success of the Statia Marine Park, spend an afternoon doing marine service projects to help the reserve’s efforts. Wrap up with a hike to the top of the Quill and into the crater of this dormant volcano now blanketed in lush rainforest.
Spend your final days on the magical island of Saba. The waters surrounding the island are protected by the Saba Marine Park, providing you with an extraordinary underwater classroom of reef formations and the greatest biodiversity in the Caribbean. Round out your studies with discussions on life cycles, symbiotic relationships, morphology and current exchange. In the water, collect data on different types of habitats surrounding the pinnacles, walls and patch reefs of Man-O-War Shoals, Tent Reef Deep and Hot Springs. Before returning home, hike through the rainforest and into the clouds to the top of Mt. Scenery. Your journey ends on the deserted island of Tintamarre, celebrating your achievements and adventures together.