K1 and K2 have returned!

K1 stops on day 1 to learn about red mangroves

Sunday night, as we (K1) sat under the stars, Remo pointed out constellations.  The stars were shining brightly and with a laser pointer, Remo directed us to Orion, Canus Major, Taurus, Ursa Major, and several others.  I’ve lived here for over seven months, but I’ve never spent that much time looking up at the sky.  The students leaned back in their crazy creek chairs, staring at the sky, and “oohing” every time they saw a shooting star.  The fire faded slowly and exhaustion from a day of kayaking crept over us.

Our second day, with sun shining, we paddled east toward Green Castle.  The current with us, we glided smoothly even taking out our tarp at one point to set sail.

Kearney smiles while "sailing"

We reached the blue hole before lunch time.  Looking down into the deep abyss, students debated whether to get out and snorkel.  “It’s just so cold!” many said.  Knowing they would have opportunities later in the semester to snorkel a blue hole (in much warmer waters!) they decided to beach the kayaks and stop for lunch instead.  With bellies full of PB&J, we paddled back the way we’d come, quickly reaching Broad Creek.  After settling camp, we gathered on the beach.  Some students wrote in place books, while others threw a frisbee around.  The sun set over the creek, and I remembered yet another reason I love this place.

K1 students write in their place books as the sun sets at Broad Creek
Mickey P. throws the frisbee at Broad Creek

This morning, knowing we were close to home, we took a nice sleep-in.  After breaking down camp, we mustered up the energy to get into the kayaks and head out on the water to practice flipping the kayaks and performing rescues.  I was amazed with the students’ ability to stay positive, even when faced with the frustrating task of bailing water out of their flipped kayak.  Smiles on their faces and with a real sense of accomplishment, students paddled back to campus, returning to what many are now referring to as “home.”