written by Alpha mate, Erica Florian
June 25, 2017
Today was our first day on the water! We woke up this morning and fancied ourselves a nice breakfast buffet before heading off to a “Mike Talk” with Founder and Director Mike Liese where he outlined expectations of the program as well as pumping us up for our big departure off docks. Then we headed to the Sail Caribbean Divers’ dive shop to buy some fun gear if desired and also check in all of our different types of scuba divers that would be taking to the deep throughout the program.
We did a prior-to-first sail lesson, so our teens are all up to date with all the boat terms above and below decks. Our skippers of the day led the charge of defrocking from Hodges Creek Marina — it all went beautifully! We had a short sail from Hodges to Cooper Island Beach Club. All is good, and the kids are already loving it here. You can read it and feel it emit from everyone’s faces.
Once at Cooper, we brought all the kids to shore, and the divers did their first gear setup while the rest of the kids had time to explore the small island and beach club, take out stand up paddle boards or sea kayaks, or get some cold smoothies or ice cream.
We headed back to boats for a delicious Steak Fajita dinner. We ended the night with boat meeting and a rose – bud – thorn, which is when we ask a student to express something positive that happened today (rose), something they’re looking forward to tomorrow (bud) and something that was a problem that came up (thorn) that they’d like to further investigate or work on. The boat meeting was a great time to reflect and the students are already such great friends. They are so eager and excited to explore more islands in the days to come throughout the BVIs!
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.