Port 9 – Day 1 – Mauritius

A very sun kissed hello from Mauritius. We were woken up this morning by the sound of the anchor dropping, just as we always do when we get into port. After we woke up and got ready we ran up to the sisters room and woke them up to go to breakfast. I love going to breakfast the first mornings we are in port because everyone is up there early and so excited to be in port. We got to breakfast around 7:30 and everyone was up there eating and watching us settle into our slot in Mauritius. We hung out with everyone up there for a little bit, but had to get back to our room to pack our bag for the day and be at the bus by 8:30. We only spent one day in Mauritius because it is technically just a re-fueling port, but it has actually been one of my favorite days thus far. Since we are only here for one day, Semester At Sea required us to be on a field program, which I was initially not too excited about, but it turned out to be so much fun. We were on the program called the Catamaran Escape where we spent the day on catamarans riding around to different spots. We got to the bus with about 10 minutes to spare, found our seat, and then were on our way to the catamarans. The catamarans were about an hour bus ride away. There were 56 of us on the program so we were split up into two different catamarans. We didn’t really care which catamaran we were on as long as the sisters and us were together, so we just picked a side and hopped on. We were one of the first ones on the catamaran so we sat in the front where the nets are, which are definitely the best seats. There are only two nets and four people allowed on each net, so it worked out perfectly for us. After everyone else got on and settled in the catamaran we headed to a snorkeling spot. The ride to the snorkeling spot was amazing. We had the sun beaming down on us with a perfect breeze coming at us to cool us down. When we arrived at our snorkeling spot we got our gear on and immediately hopped in. Somehow Carol and I were the first of our entire catamaran group to hop in the water. For some reason we didn’t look in the crystal clear water before we hopped in and instead just went for it. With that being said, we were really just ready to hop in the water and cool off, but we got a little more than we bargained for. We had our gear on, so when we hopped in the water we were able to see all of the little critters greeting us. We apparently jumped into a school of fish. We were not expecting this at all so we immediately bopped out of the water screaming. Everyone on the catamaran started laughing at us and jumped right in behind us to see the fish. The water we were in was so salty that you could just lay there and float without doing any work. We stayed there for about an hour and snorkeled our little hearts out. We also spent that time making so many fun GoPro videos and seeing who could go to the bottom the fastest. Going to the bottom was a lot harder than it looked. The water was so clear that it looked like the bottom was super close, but it was actually pretty far away; the saltiness of the water also made it super had to get to the bottom. As soon as you tried to jet to the bottom it felt like you were being pushed back to the surface. Getting to the bottom took the life out of you, but became a really fun competition. We saw so many cool things and just loved being in the water. After our first snorkeling stop we got back on the catamaran and continued the ride. As we continued riding on the catamaran the crew had a cookout and we ate lunch. It was super delicious and refreshing. We ate chicken, pasta, and normal American grill food, which was a nice little taste of home. After lunch we went back to laying on the nets in the front of the catamaran and talked while getting some very intense Vitamin D. We made our way to an island and at this point you could either choose to head to the island for 20-30 minutes or to snorkel. The four of us decided to stay at the catamaran and snorkel around it. The people who went to the island had to hop on a little boat that we had been dragging the whole time in order to actually get onto the island. We were super happy that we stayed to snorkel because the island was apparently kind of dead. While the others were on the island we jumped in the water and went back to snorkeling. The water at our second snorkeling spot turned out to be pretty intense. The waves were very heavy and kept taking us out. The four of us had to swim back to the catamaran a few times just because one of us would be taken out and then the rest of us would be laughing so hard that we needed something to hold on to. We stayed at the second snorkeling spot for about 30 minutes. At that time the island group joined back up with us and we started making our way back to the busses. We enjoyed our last hour on the catamaran before arriving at the busses with some laying in the sun and then somehow a dance party happened. The crew didn’t speak that much English, but loved American music so they turned up the tunes and we all started dancing. We pulled into the slot dancing and blasting music, which was really fun. We reluctantly hopped off the catamaran, boarded the busses, and headed back to the ship. It was another hour back to the ship on the bus. When we got to the ship we did the normal security check and then headed to our rooms. We were all pretty hungry after such a busy day so we quickly hopped in the shower and washed off the layer of salt we all had on us from the water and then headed to dinner at 5:30. At dinner we ran into a few of our friends and they sat with us. We all stayed there and chatted and talked about our day in Mauritius. People from the table came and went as did dinner. When I finally left it was almost 9:30 and there was a completely different group of people at the table than we started with. The only four people that were the same as when we started were the sisters, Rebecca, and I. I was super tired and feel like I may be getting a cold so I checked out early and am about to head to bed. Carol left with me, but Rebecca and Kathleen are still up there. I had so much fun today on the catamaran and absolutely loved Mauritius. Although we only got to spend one day here, it was a day well spent.

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