written by mate, Jess Michael
July 10, 2018
We were all extremely overjoyed to be getting off docks today! We had an early morning wake up, so that the divers could head over to Cooper Island Beach Club on the dive boat to begin there confined water dives. They enjoyed the exciting ride across the Sir Francis Drake Channel on the Sail Caribbean Divers’ custom dive boat. The rest of the student crews prepped their boats for de-docking.
Students learned how to complete pre-departure checks in order to confirm that it was safe to get underway. Each crew’s skipper of the day then worked with their staff captain and mate to come up with a de-docking plan which was signed off on by the Alpha Program Director before execution. Each vessel got off docks fairly easily and we all motored our way into the channel. We started with a sail raising lesson, learned how to unfurl the jib, and then how to tack when upwind sailing. It was a great first sail!
After picking up a mooring ball at Cooper Island, everyone completed a swim test and then got to enjoy the Caribbean waters for the first time. The divers returned for lunch and then we all went back to shore. Our divers finished up their third contained water dive throughout the afternoon. During our time on shore, our non-divers enjoyed ice cream, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, water sports, and Sail Caribbean’s infamous water-sporting tube ‘Poparazzi’. All the students definitely loved getting whirled around on Poparazzi and can’t wait to do it again.
Our afternoon soon came to an end as the sun began setting, and we all reconvened on our home boats to learn how to ocean shower from the back of our transoms. Students had a fun time listening to music, showering and then spontaneously dancing! Dinner and boat clean got underway but everyone was anxiously waiting to go to shore for the dessert social! All the students loved hanging out on shore with the whole fleet, eating desserts, and sipping on soda. It was a long, action-packed day, so after boat meeting, it was time to power down to rest up for another day on the water.
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.