01/18/19 - Luther College 2019: Day 8

Luther College 2019: Day 8

Buck Island, St. Thomas


We awoke this morning to a calm sea in Maho Bay on the west side of St. John. We fueled up for our hike down the Reef Bay Trail with peach pancakes. After consuming our breakfast, we prepared ourselves for the hike. Our hike was proceeded by a beautiful open taxi ride up the Reef Trail. During our taxi ride we pondered the plantations that scattered the island and the slaves that inhabited them. Our hike ventured through tropical and dry forest followed by flat farmland in which the plantation owners grew sugar cane and finally desert by the beach. As we traversed through the far ecosystems we encountered many native and non-native species including the anole, millipedes, hermit crabs, and deer. Kent, our guide, informed us on many large trees such as the stinky toe tree and the bay rum tree. One of our amazing stops was ancient Taino petroglyphs. The site is the only freshwater source on St. John and the Taino people used it as a religious ritual site. After eating lunch at the Tiano site, we continued to a sugar cane plantation site. Our current readings have been on two significant slave narratives. Getting the opportunity to visit standing ruins of plantations while discussing and reading slave narratives has been an unforgettable educational opportunity none of us will forget. After taking in the many beautiful sites St. John had to offer, we met the Roseway on the south side of St. John. As we watch the Roseway sail towards our beach we cut up a watermelon and divided it in between ourselves. We pondered what we had learned today while enjoying the watermelon.