Geronimo is a voyage of self-discovery. Student crew members discover the joys and challenges of life aboard a 69-foot cutter as they sail along one leg of a tour that in 2017-18 will take the boat along the eastern coast of the U.S., from Rhode Island to the Bahamas and back. As they live, learn and explore together, classmates discover what it truly means to be a crew.
We departed Deshaies, Guadeloupe early Thursday morning for Montserrat. This was our first sail that was not entirely to windward which was a welcome change. We were able to get within a mile of Montserrat and look first hand at the destruction created by the eruptions of the island’s volcano between the years 1995-2010. All the students sat on deck and passed around the binoculars to have a better look.
Given that the weather conditions happened to be just right we decided to anchor in Little Bay, Montserrat and further explore the island. This is an especially exciting stop as none of the crew, professional or student, have ever been here before. Our first night was spent aboard Geronimo enjoying a lengthy swim call and afterwards, tacos curtesy of Aniyah, Svenja, and Eleanor. Today we loaded up into a van for a tour of the island. The first stop was the Montserrat Volcanic Observation Center. Here we were given a tour by one of the seismologists of the center and some of the equipment they use to monitor the volcano’s activity. We were also treated to a rare view of the entire volcano. Usually its pinnacle is surrounded by clouds. From there we drove to an overlook to see the abandoned buildings of Plymouth, the former capital of Montserrat that had to be evacuated once the volcano became active again. Montserrat’s population is only 5,000, largely due to the damage of the volcano and folks seeking employment elsewhere. As a result this island has a much different feel from the other islands we’ve visited along our trip.
Currently the students are all huddled around the main saloon table deliberating over the details of our last passage together, looking at the weather forecast, calculating the mileage, deciding when we should get underway. I am excited to see what they come up with and to watch it all unfold tomorrow on our way to St. Martin.
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