Many Thursday afternoons are spent with advisories, small groups of one faculty member and four or five students. Those groups also include an extended advisory, a larger group of Cape Eleuthera Island School staff who act as an extended family, joining the advisory for various activities. So far in the semester, we’ve adventured into caves and relaxed on beaches, jumped off cliffs, chatted by the ocean, and of course gorged on snacks. Even though we spend this time together, our experiences are all different, just like every day here is. Each of us chose to recount our favorite advisory time.

First, Mitch Bereznay talks about cliff jumping at High Rock: “My favorite advisory moment was when we all went to jump off High Rock. It was very exciting because I had not yet jumped off High Rock due to an ear infection I had during the traditional, beginning-of- the-semester jump. When we got there, I grew very nervous because I am not a fan of heights. So I let Mike and Bella jump before me and tried to gather my thoughts. After a few minutes of trying to work up the courage to jump, I finally leaped outwards and plunged into the ocean. It felt so rewarding to overcome my fear and just send it. It was a very special moment, and I’m glad I got to share it with my advisory.”

Then, three of us tell our version of the same advising time:

Bella Lundeen: “My favorite advisory day was the day my advisory explored the caves and Cotton Bay Beach with faculty member Oliver’s advisory. First, we went to the Rock Sound market and stuffed ourselves with a bunch of junk food. Then, we headed to caves and began exploring. Once we entered the caves, it was an endless feeling of excitement. We kept coming upon new paths in the cave and exploring each of them, leading us to different exciting parts each time. There were bats and spider webs everywhere. About 45 minutes later, we were all filthy and departed for Cotton Bay Beach. Everyone from the advisories leapt out of the van and ran towards the ocean. Feeling so refreshed and clean after our time there, we got back into the van. That day, my friend Claire and I ate the freshest most delicious mango we have ever eaten.”

Michael Tetreault: “My favorite advisory moment was when we went to the caves in Rock
Sound. We ended up at this location when Ashley Waldorf — Director of The Island School, and a member of our extended advisory — asked us, “Do you want to go to a beach, or do you want to explore this beautiful island?” Our adventurous advisee group chose to let Ashely lead us to an unknown location. I kept looking for caves from the van when all of sudden she pulled over across the street from a church. She told us that we were going to explore caves, and we looked at her like she was crazy. We didn’t see any caves, so were the caves in the church or was she at the wrong location? Ashley then went into the woods on the side of the road and told us to follow her. We were walking through a narrow path with multiple spiders and other bugs, and then all of sudden we came across a ladder that was leading downward. At the top of the ladder you could only see woods, and then when we reached the bottom it all changed. There were two huge caves on either side of us that were begging to be explored. For the next hour, we traveled into these beautiful, bat-filled caves. We climbed up walls into new caves, and then down into others. At the end of our exploration, we came back to the van dirty and tired from our amazing adventure. This was one of my most favorite memories at the Island School, and I was so glad that we picked to go an adventure.”

Sofi Morales: “Throughout the various advisory times I’ve had, our visit to Cotton Bay Beach has been my favorite activity so far. The beach reminded me of the type of scenic views you could find on postcards or the stereotypical tropical beach view. I hate to be cheesy, but I think it was the most amazing place that I have been to so far. The sand was amazingly soft, unlike the mostly rocky beaches that I had been swimming at so far. Packed full of snacks from the Rock Sound market, which we had just visited, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect end to advisory time, especially after having visited some very sketchy caves. Stepping onto the perfectly soft sand, I saw the beach’s perfect waves crash onto the shoreline. Excited, I waded in; the waves bobbed me from side to side as I floated on my back. Although our advisory only spent a short time at Cotton Bay, I still consider those minutes to be one of the most relaxing moments that I have had to date.”

Although we each have our own experiences and our own versions of events, we’re able to
bond during these advising times, see more of the beautiful island where we live, and learn
more about ourselves, even if it’s just that we prefer beaches over caves.