Hurricane Island

Day 4

23 June 2022

Quote of the day - “Can I pick my belayer?  I don’t trust Michael.” - Lorelei

Today pushed all of us a little past our comfort zones.  Immediately after breakfast, we hiked to the quarry for rock climbing.


Now, the quarry is filled with water.  It is a quiet pond on the tip of the island that provides all of the island’s drinking water.  Just to get there you have to do some minor climbing, and then you come out to the pond and cliffs about 100 feet high.  And it was one of these cliffs that we were going up.  After some instruction on how to climb and how to belay, control and assist the climber, up we went. Rubi, Jaden, and Mrs. Poll volunteered to go first.  There was a lot of nervous exclamations, excited shouts of encouragement, and some screams of terror, but always laughter. 


When Rubi and Jaden made it to the top of the rock face, again close to 100 feet high, they did seem to instill some confidence in everyone else that this could be done.  As the morning went on, each of found our way up the small grips and grooves in the rock.  A special shout out has to go to Khurram because he was the only one out of all of use to climb all three sections!




The afternoon posed another challenge for us, the raft challenge.  For this challenge, we  divided into three teams to build a raft out of two barrels, some wood planks, and rope to get at least two people across the ice pond.  Designs were made, adjusted, fallen apart, redone, tested, fallen apart again, and again, and again.  All three teams were so enthusiastic that our guides Tigris and Robin gave us extra time to keep trying.  In the end, Mrs. Poll, Joseph, and Jaden made it the furthest across, followed by Lorelei, Khurram, and Rubi, but none of us made it all the way.

With our bathing suits still on, it was time for all of us to take a jump off the pier into the Gulf of Maine.  One by one we took the plunge and for the most part got right back out!



For our last evening, we were treated to a campfire and some s’mores.  Lorelei, Tigris, and Robin serenaded us with some songs and Odin came by to say good bye.  As we were preparing for our last night on the island and the end of an amazing trip, Hurricane Island blessed us with a rainbow for our last sunset.  It felt like the perfect send off.


            Once the sun did go down and darkness settled in, we decided to try one more time to see the bioluminescent plankton.  This time we decided to head down to the dock.  Plankton only bioluminesce when they are agitated, a defense mechanism designed to distract
 predators, so in order to see it, you have to stir the water.


We grabbed a few rocks and stuck our hands back in the cold water and bam!  There it was!  Reacting to the rocks falling in the water and our hands swirling around, hundreds of blue-green sparks started appearing in the water!  Seeing this amazing site made the perfect end to an amazing trip.


The next morning, we begrudgingly packed our things and cleaned our yurt and cabin.  Once breakfast was finished, we gathered at the dock to load the Equinox again for our trip home.  But before we pulled away from the dock for the last time, Hurricane Island gave us one last treat, a lion’s mane jelly, the biggest jelly any of us had ever seen.  And off we went, back to Rockland to head home.


“Through my stay at Hurricane Island, I have come to understand their mission further. The center for science and leadership strives to inform their guests on environmental challenges, all whilst creating a fun learning environment. As we were surrounded by the promotions of sustainable living (ex: compost bins) and the outlet to inquire more about things home to the island, I had found that I grew a sense of community with my stay. Along with activities provided, we were able to learn more from/about those who call the island their home (shout out to our island educators Tigris and Robyn!) With this, I felt that I was more connected to the islands history and inspired to create a better sustainability and community back home. Though the stay incorporated topics of biology and ecology, we also participated in activities like rowing through Maine’s frigid waters, creating our own rafts, watercolor hiking, rock climbing, and jumping from the islands dock/pier. There was so much to take away from me the trip after we had left the island, and I hope to soon return!” - Jaden