written by Alpha mate, Erika Florian
July 10, 2017
Today, we finally got off docks! We started the day out with a trip to the dive shop to buy some hammocks and souvenirs, and get acquainted with the dive operation we would be learning through. Then, we did a prior-to-first sail walk through of the entire boat, learning the ropes of everything we would need to know about our home on the water.
We dedocked from Hodges’s quite swimmingly with a complete student run boat! We had a student at the helm, catching lines, and pulling in fenders. It was a really great way to start off the trip! We had lunch underway, sailed around within the Sir Francis Drake channel and taught the crews about raising sails and tacking.
We moored our boat at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island, also successfully student run! After tying on a secondary line, we jumped in the water to do our swim test. Everyone was so excited to finally get into the blue Caribbean waters. Then, all the divers went to shore for their first confined skills lesson, while the rest of us went ashore for a Cooper Island Beach Club day. Our students had the opportunity to take out stand up paddle boards, kayaks, ate some ice cream, and just hung out for a long while on Cooper’s beautiful beach.
We went back to boats around 5p.m. for a shower demo. We use the ocean as our shower! The kids enjoyed the unique way one can shower off the transom of the boat, all finished off with a fresh water rinse. We had some yummy burritos for dinner made by the students on dinner duty, cleaned up the boat with some chores, and held our second boat meeting. Everyone is really excited to go snorkeling tomorrow, it’s all high hopes on the second night!
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.