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Alpha 1, Day 2: The Bight, Norman Island

By wpdev June 25, 2019
Written by Riley Addison
Edited by Meredith Evridge

Monday morning started early; there was a lot to be done.  After we had a breakfast buffet on board, the boats needed final preparations before departure. Students were able to get any last-minute supplies from the dive shop, and “prior to first sail” lessons had to be conducted. “Prior to first” includes lessons such as safety equipment, overviews of rigging, and boat systems in general. Next was a de-docking lesson, covering techniques of moving a sailboat off the dock. Each boat dedocked without a hitch. Once underway, lessons of raising sail, downwind sailing, winch safety, and mooring were conducted. This noon sail took the Sail Caribbean fleet to The Bight on Norman Island: a large protected mooring field with a beautiful beach! Lunch was prepared and all prepared to go to shore.

Once every camper was dinghied ashore, many different activities began. Some students took part in an Open Water scuba certification course. Our Advanced Open Water and Fun divers headed to Angel Fish Reef. A handful of campers took out the Colgate 26, a smaller sailboat, to work on their ASA (American Sailing Association) certifications. On one of our smaller powerboats called a RIB (rigid infallible boat), students had the opportunity to go wakeboarding and tubing. Those on the beach played games like beach soccer and spikeball, and enjoyed continuing bonding with the crew in the sun! The shop ashore was open for business and some enjoyed a cold, refreshing drink.

Late in the afternoon, everyone returned to boats. There were a few more demonstrations from the captains and mates about life on boats, how to conserve water, and how we shower in the ocean. This is always a fun time with the whole boat jumping in and sudsing up! Dinner preparation soon followed. It was burrito night! With full bellies, the boats’ nightly cleans were finished. As the stars came out, the evening ended with a boat meeting and a review of our first full day with Sail Caribbean.

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.