spider-cinnamon-bay.JPG    Yesterday we pulled into Cinnamon

Bay. What an absolutely beautiful beach!!!  On Saturday nights, here in the Cinnamon Bay Camp Ground, they have a Star Watch, where a Park Ranger will tell you about the stars that you can see from

St John. I love these talks put on by the National Park Service. After a great day on the beach, we beached the dingy and arrived at the amphitheatre for the 7:30pm start time.  Deanna, the National Park Ranger, led us through a sing a long (actually funny!) on the universe and then a slide show with images from the Hubble Telescope.  It’s very humbling when you see the images of all these other beautiful galaxies, that we know nothing about.  Deanna was very passionate about her subject and was really concerned about the light pollution.  I know more cities in the

US are becoming aware of this and trying to change the lighting in their area.  I think this is so important.  When you can get out in nature, away from all the lights (or at least a majority of them) and actually see what you are missing, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.  She played a slide showing how the light pollution is viewed from space and of course the whole east coast of the US is lit up, but surprisingly,

Puerto Rico was really bad!! The Bahamas were fine, and Dan and I laughed at

Dominican Republic that was lit up on one end.  They must have photographed them during the usual power outage!!

After the slide show, we made our way down to the beach to look at the sky through her telescope. Along the way we dodged a few birds flying by which Deanna calmly referred to as bats.This is the first time for me, as well as the kids, of looking through a telescope.  The moon was so bright coming through the lens that it nearly blinded me!!  Deanna told us of the importance of the night sky, for celestial navigation, to planting crops, and for animal and plant life.  For example, on a full moon night in September, the land crabs come out.  And every August, and only in August, under a full moon, the coral spawns.  I didn’t know that.  The kids loved it!!  If Dan and I can get up on our soapbox for a minute, this is it.  Please, please, please, look at the sky more.  Tell your children to look up every night.  Coming up on the 20th of this month is the lunar eclipse with a full moon.  Please, take a few minutes out of your busy life and just enjoy the show!  Your spirit and your kids will be glad you did. p2170091.JPG At 4:00pm today, the heavy rain we had been getting all day, finally let up, and we headed in to the campgrounds to hike the Cinnamon Bay Trail.  It seems we can’t get enough of the hiking!  Today’s hike was a 1.2mile straight up climb. The trail sign designated it as moderately steep and they weren’t kidding.  The narrow trail, wound its way up the mountain, over rain slicked rocks, and perched perilously close to steep ravines, before giving us a break of an amazing view of the harbor, three quarters of the way up the trail. hiking.JPG We were all surprised at how high we had climbed, and Alegria looked so small floating peacefully in the turquoise harbor. hiking-4.JPG hiking-2.JPG hiking-3.JPGThe trial continued on before ending at centerline road, the major road that crossed the island. It was a let down that the end wasn’t more dramatic, but walking through the forest, seeing the luscious green plants, and listening to the birds singing was our reward.  We made it back down to the campgrounds as they were getting ready to serve dinner.  The menu was a choice of Strip Steak, barbeque ribs or barbeque chicken.  The steaks were Omaha Steaks, a particular favorite of ours.  Not bad for a campground!!  While we ate, the CSN band (Caribbean Sounds of Nature) serenaded us with steel drums and island songs.  We came back to the boat, tired and full.   The lights will be out early on Alegria tonight!