Written by Stasia Babicki
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Waking up on docks at swanky Scrub Island, we had breakfast and sent our Open Water and Advanced Open Water to their dive. The rest of us gathered for a short hike. It was the perfect activity to wake everyone up and get that blood pumping. The sun wasn’t too intense yet, and there was a little breeze to encourage us along. The way was paved nicely for our stroll around the edge of the island, the views seriously stunning all of us. Azure waters and lush, green trees and plants with pink flowers growing on them, it was a really nice way to start our day! Heading down a steep hill, we arrived at a small beach with a pool and little seating area. We were the only ones there. We put down our water bottles and clustered for some games. They were silly and fun! After about forty five minutes, we started to head back to the docks.
The campers had an hour of meandering around shops and the cafe before they had to head back to boats and begin predeparture checks. The fleet dedocked and motored to Marina, just around the corner, to have a lunch of broccoli mac n’ cheese. After we were all full and lunch was cleared away, everyone rolled up their proverbial sleeves to give the boat a proper clean. It wasn’t too long before all the boats were sparkling again and we all prepared to get the engines rumbling and life jackets on. It was time for the race. We would all race from Marina Cay to Savannah Bay, using our best judgement on whether to tack once or several times. It was all about strategy, and everyone had their own recipe. As everyone gathered on the starting line, there was a staff with a drone who got a bit of fun footage. The voice through the VHF crackled, “3, 2, 1!” And they were off. All the boats were close in the beginning but as a squall passed over us, there was more definition on who was ahead. It took about two and a half hours to reach our destination. The boat who won was Ormindo. They chose to tack several times, and it worked in their favor!
Once all boats had arrived in secluded Savannah Bay, anchors were dropped. There was a brief time for jumping in the waters and cooling off, and then it was onto another activity full of strategy: Chili Cookoff! Each boat had to prepare their best version of the classic chili dish, complete with a theme. Around 7:30, the staff arrived to judge the results. They were dressed up as a couple from Europe and maintained their personas for each boat! The chili was delicious, each crew making it special in their own way. Some added corn, some added tortilla chips on the side, and most had secret ingredients that were never revealed to the judges! Everyone put in lots of creativity with cooking and with their themes. There was a silent spa, there was an intricate skit with mermaids and pirates, one boat did Titanic, and one boat did an airline theme complete with first, second and third class seats for the judges.
Once the judges had their sniff tests, plop tests, and taste tests, everyone was free to load up their own bowls of chili. It was a tasty evening for all. Filled to the brim with down home cooking, boat meetings were held and all went to sleep.
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.