written by Social Media Coordinator, Ryan Smith
June 25, 2016
It couldn’t have been a more happy and crazy day, eagerly awaiting our mega fleet of arrivals to come! Myself, Rowsey, our Marine Biology intern, Alyssa, our ASA instructor, Liz Deveau, a mate of the Foxtrot program, Kyra and Lindsay, two of our Mates-in-Training rolled into the St. Thomas airport squad deep with huge smiles on our faces to meet all the waves of arriving students throughout the day. We danced with our Sail Caribbean burgees to the steel drum beats of a local youth band that was performing in the airport which was a hilarious hit for our arriving travelers. After each flight arrived, each staff member giddily guided their groups back to our home base of Hodges Creek Marina on Tortola by way of a gorgeous ferry ride through the islands. Following their arrival at base, students were assigned to their program’s leadership team and settled into their new homes on the docks.
With the sun setting on the horizon, some of the students enjoyed a land shower before lining up with their programs along their designated docks to gobble down our buffet of delicious Caribbean chicken, rice and slaw, eating it up from the cockpits of their new homes, among new crewmates from all around the world. Seconds and thirds were generously consumed after a long day of traveling.
Following dinner, students sat attentively as an infamous “Mike Talk” was delivered naturally by our founder and director Mike Liese himself under the moonlight and dock spotlights, where he outlined our Sail Caribbean policies, standards, and expectations during each and every program we run.
After the rest of the crews had a chance to take their turn at some refreshing shore showers, each boat’s crew held their first boat meeting. During each very first boat meeting, crews get acquainted with each other and have brief introductions to the many aspects of our programs, such as the roles on the duty roster and writing within the ship’s log. After wrapping up meetings, it wasn’t long before students were fast asleep in anticipation of leaving the docks the follow morning. You can look forward to each of our crews of the 1’s programs’ boat photos prior to leaving docks in the next trip update for Day 2, or of course have an early look by checking them out on our Sail Caribbean Facebook page!
The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.