Sample Foxtrot Voyage Itinerary
Here's a taste of what life is like when you join us on Foxtrot Environmental Service, Sailing & Scuba for an adventure you will never forget! You'll learn sailing techniques, participate in water sports and outdoor exploration, and explore the marine world of the BVI. Marine Biology based summer community service programs have projects that fill your days as you use snorkeling and diving skills to do Reef Checks, Sea Grass Bed Studies, and Turtle Tagging.
Note: This is a Sample 21-day Itinerary. Actual program itineraries will vary based on weather, and BVI holidays, so as to create the best experience for each of our students.
Day 1 Hodge’s Creek, Tortola
Get acquainted with our beautiful home base. Meet your Captain and everyone on your program. You'll have your first boat meeting over delicious lasagna, to set the course for the rest of your adventures to come.
Day 2 Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island
Your captain will lead you through some preparations and basic sailing lessons before you de-dock for a first journey across the Sir Francis Drake Channel. If you are signed up to earn your PADI Open Water Diver certification, you will meet up with the Sail Caribbean dive boat for your first dive! Otherwise, you'll become familiar with the parts of the boat, and take a turn behind the helm as you sail toward Cooper Island. At Manchioneel Bay, the Open Water Divers will meet back up with the fleet, and you will perform a swim test and have an introductory snorkel. You'll also experience cooking your first dinner on board which is always a great experiment! After dinner, your mate will give a Leave No Trace seminar on the importance of using environmentally friendly products on board while in the Caribbean.
Day 3 Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island
After a quick breakfast, the Open Water Divers meet up with the dive boat on the dock for the second day of diving! The rest of the fleet will spend the morning doing water sports such as tubing, wake boarding, and skiing! Once back to the boats, you help prepare a snack and lunch, so the hungry divers can join right in on the meal. In the afternoon, we’ll hit the beach for icebreakers and an introduction to more of the various service projects ahead. You'll learn about turtle tagging and other marine biology activities that you and your crew will be performing. After dinner, you get to participate in a seminar about sea turtles common to the BVIs and why it is important to protect them.
Day 4 Cistern Rock/The Bight, Norman Island
In the morning, the divers head off for their last day of certification skills and dives! The rest of the fleet dinghies over to Cistern Rock for a snorkeling adventure! You will carry waterproof identification guides so you can begin familiarizing yourself with the local marine life. Perhaps you will see your first sea turtle while diving or snorkeling this area! When everyone is back to the boat, your crew will enjoy a hearty lunch and begin making preparations to sail to Norman Island. During the sail you learn about about jibing downwind, as well as about the external anatomy and markings of fish. Your crew will work together to pick up the mooring ball at The Bight where you will be perfectly positioned to watch an epic sunset. After dinner, the staff leads a seminar about the Deep Sea and Bioluminescence, followed by a biolume splash to check out the tiny glowing organisms.
Day 5 The Indians/Soper’s Hole, Tortola
In the morning you'll have the option to take a sunrise hike to the top of the hill on Norman Island. After breakfast, the fleet will snorkel or dive the Indians, a group of four rock outcroppings just outside the Bight abundant with sea life. We’ll learn and practice fish and invertebrate identification for your first community service assignment – Project Reef. Then we set sail downwind across the channel and around the west end of Tortola to Soper’s Hole. During the sail, your crew will discuss docking procedure and safety, and then you will dock for the first time since leaving Hodge’s Creek! Once the fleet is reprovisioned, it is time for showers and dinner, followed by Blue Planet DVD’s and popcorn!
Day 6 Soper’s Hole, Tortola/Diamond Cay, Jost Van Dyke
Wake up to Western Eggs for breakfast! You’ll have plenty of time to explore the shops in the area before dedocking and heading to Diamond Cay on Jost Van Dyke. You’ll head to shore for a lesson about the importance of Mangrove Forests, and then pick up trash as you hike to the beautiful Bubbly Pools to explore the unique tidepools of this area. Once you are back to the boats, your Captain calls an impromptu cannon ball contest! Watch out for turtles as you crash into the water - they are all over the place here! After dinner, there is a lesson about turtles and what we can do to preserve them.
Day 7 Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island
It's time to get down to some turtle tagging. Learning to "power snorkel" might improve your chances of catching a turtle on your first try! Green Sea Turtles are so abundant in this area that you are bound to see several and hopefully get your hands on a few. Practice your tacking skills across the Sir Francis Drake Channel and pick up a mooring ball at palm tree spotted Cooper Island. We'll learn why the seagrass beds at Cooper are important to the ecology, and do a seagrass study before day's end. This evening, try a night snorkel where you will be guided by dive lights and discover the marine life that only comes out in the dark. Don't forget to swing your arms to see the bioluminescence light up the water around you!
Day 8 Little Harbor, Peter Island
A short sail to Little Harbor leads your fleet to an excellent location to continue your marine science community service. Take advantage of the flat waters to try your hand at water-skiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating or tubing! After some serious watersports fun, you'll learn more about our Leave No Trace philosophy and how important it is to life both in the Caribbean and at home. We'll also have a lesson about coral and coral bleaching. A Coral Watch study will analyze our data to produce graphs showing the status of bleaching on the reef that we snorkel on. Our data will help make a difference and we'll keep our fingers crossed that the reef will stay relatively healthy. In the evening your fleet will gather on one boat and watch a DVD on Coral Reefs to round out a full day of marine biology!
Day 9 Nanny Cay, Tortola
After a breakfast of French toast we'll sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Nanny Cay. Once you arrive, you'll have the opportunity of hiking through the rainforest to the highest peak in the BVI to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of all of the surrounding islands. Then it's time to relax by the pool, shop at the marina and enjoy some well-deserved ice cream. Onboard this evening, we'll focus on some leadership and team building exercises before enjoying a perfect Caribbean sunset.
Day 10 Sandy Cay/Monkey Point, Guana Island
Sandy Cay is a beautiful and tiny uninhabited island off Jost Van Dyke, surrounded by beach and reef, except for a small patch of sandy bottom for carefully placed boat anchors. From Nanny Cay it's a down wind leg to the West End of Tortola, navigating through the Thatch Island Cut and past Soper's Hole. While under sail you'll practice useful knots, such as the bowline and cleat hitch. Upon arrival, we’ll anchor off the beach and set out on a hike around the deserted island. You'll see hermit crabs and lizards scurrying around as we climb to look out point. After the hike, well take time to play beach games before our long upwind sail to Monkey Point on Guana Island, arriving just in time to cook dinner.
Day 11 Monkey Point, Guana Island
You’ll wake up this morning for a delicious breakfast to prepare for a full day of community service and Caribbean adventures! While doing a Reef Check snorkel, you’ll see huge tarpon chasing schools of the small silverside bait fish, a family of squid eyeing you curiously as you swim by, and the brilliant colors of vibrant shallow water corals, sponges and other invertebrates. A hike up the trail on Guana Island leads to spectacular views, and to cool off after the hike, the ski boat awaits to take you tubing and wakeboarding! In the late afternoon, you’ll drop the ball and head over to Trellis Bay where you will spend the night. You'll be looking forward to the Sail Caribbean Chili Cook-off tonight, where your crew will prepare their best chili and also create a skit to present the meal.
Day 12 Trellis Bay, Tortola
This morning you'll meet local students from Tortola's Youth Empowerment Project (YEP). After getting to know each other through some fun group games, it's time to show your new friends the projects you've been working on during the trip. We'll teach the YEP students how to do a Seagrass study. Together, you will use your snorkeling skills to rope off sections of sea grass. You'll measure heights and record any temporal and spatial changes in sea grass that might be due to run-off and other damaging events. After you wash up on board, you'll head back to shore to enjoy time on the beach browsing Aragorn's art and pottery studio, writing emails home from The Cyber Cafe, and marveling at the huge copper sculptures that line the shore.
Day 13 Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda
You and your crew are in full control now, responsible for everything that goes on during the day including meals, navigation, and sailing the boat to arrive at the planned destination on time. You'll practice Man-Over-Board drills as your fleet heads north to the largest island in the BVI. Right at the mouth of the Gorda Sound, you'll find one of the most secluded anchorages in the Caribbean, which will serve as the site for your third Project Reef and Coral Watch surveys. You'll enjoy snorkeling and diving on an isolated, pristine reef. Wrap up the day with another chance for watersports before spending a gorgeous night on board under the stars enjoying a staff-led seminar on Invertebrate Biology of the marine world.
Day 14 Anegada
Few people have the chance to go to this unique island. The surrounding reef makes accurate piloting and navigation critical. You'll meet to discuss the obstacle course that surrounds Anegada's mooring field and set sail for your longest voyage yet. Sailing to Anegada is always a challenge because the island, a coral and limestone atoll, is very low and is almost entirely surrounded by Horseshoe Reef, 18 miles of jagged coral reef that has claimed more than 300 vessels throughout history! A safari style taxi will deliver you to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. There you will search for sea turtle nests as you clean up the beach, and explore a phenomenal reef keeping your eyes peeled for turtles and lionfish. A fresh island-style dinner and a nap under the Sea Grape tree round out the day.
Day 15 Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor
Once the boats reach the harbor, you’ll dock in one of the slips. Students who signed up for Discover Scuba Diving and those who are certified will head out for dives. A Specialty Dive will allow some to earn a certification in coral reef conservation while adding another hour of community service. You might even dive on an airplane that had crashed into the water!
Day 16 Marina Cay
Before setting sail, we'll start the day off with a hike up to Gorda Peak, the highest point on Virgin Gorda. Afterward there's just enough time for a quick visit to the shops before heading back to the boats to have a de-docking talk. During our sail, we’ll stop at the Dog Islands, pick up mooring balls, have lunch and jump in the water for a snorkel. Then it's time to hoist the sails again for our trip to Marina Cay where we'll do a survey on Diamond Reef. We've been monitoring this reef for several years now. There is some big development on one of the nearby islands and the reef has suffered from sedimentation. At day’s end we'll dinghy over to the Fireball Party for some amazing dancing with the stilt-walkers!
Day 17 Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda
You'll enter the crystal blue waters of Gorda Sound on the way Bitter End. We'll take a break from Marine Biology service projects so you and your crew enjoy one of the finest resorts in the BVI. We'll have time to windsurf, water-ski, sail and race small boats, or just shop and socialize on the beach. At night we'll head back to shore to enjoy a movie at The Bitter End Yacht Club's outdoor living room.
Day 18 Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda
Early this morning we'll head downwind for an eight mile sail to Savannah Bay. On the way, the boats will perfect their jibing and also work to complete the practical check-offs for their crew level certification. Upon arrival at Savannah's perfect beach, we'll dinghy ashore for a fun afternoon at the Sail Caribbean Olympics! Events such as the kayak pull, dizzy fender relay, and bury your captain set the stage for a little friendly competition between boats. This day always proves to be full of laughs and memories.
Day 19 The Baths/ Great Harbor, Peter Island
Wake up to the beautiful landscape of The Baths. You and your friends will test your sense of adventure as you dive off Jump Rock and explore the many tunnels and passageways created by the massive boulders that surround you. Enjoy a sail through the heart of the Sir Frances Drake Channel as you make your way to Peter Island for your last night out at sea. Be ready, because tonight there's a special opportunity to go on a night snorkel in search of various nocturnal sea creatures. See the underwater world in a completely new light, or lack there of...
Day 20 Road Town, Tortola
Your crew will then celebrate their last sail together by showing each other everything that you have learned and accomplished. Take one last turn behind the helm, prepare your crew for one last docking, and look forward to a night full of memories. You'll work with your crew to do one final cleaning of the boat. Awards will be given to each boat, students and staff will perform skits, and surprises will be sure to pop up all evening!
Day 21 Fond Farewells as you head home