Written and edited by Meredith Evridge

The campers slowly awoke. Why is the engine rumbling? Where are we? Looking out, they saw huge, soft looking grey boulders all in a pile on pristine, white sand. What is this place?!

Captains and mates had woken up extra early to motor over to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Taking between fifty and sixty five million years to form, these igneous rocks looked truly unreal compared to the usual rocks we see. As breakfast was laid out on the table of each boat, we munched on our cereal and enjoyed the views. The water surrounding this island was clear and inviting. We didn’t have many neighbors in the mooring field because of how early we had arrived. Success! Where we planned on jumping in and swimming, we observed purple flags warning us about jellyfish. We quickly made a plan B, motoring to the other side of the island and hiking in that way.

We had a lesson on the origin of The Baths, and weaved through and between these gigantic rocks. We arrived at the beach just as the purple flags were being removed, so it was a perfect time for a snorkel. This is one of our favorite places to snorkel, with vibrant sea life teeming beneath the waves.

Wrapping our visit to The Baths with a visit to Jump Rock, a fifteen foot hop from the top, we all splashed around while a drone captured our fun.

Heading back to boats, we had lunch and set sail for Hodges Creek, where we would spend our last evening. We had boat cleans and packing, organizing and things to sort before we could chill. Once all the things on our to-do list were checked, we had a buffet dinner of ribs, mac n’ cheese, and steamed veggies. Around 7:30, we gathered to perform skits which were absolutely hilarious for the staff. Nothing like having your campers poke fun at you! The staff responded with their own skit which the kids loved! Everyone cheered as the winners of Chili Cookoff, the Olympics and Race Day were announced. We learned who had completed their DSD (five students), Open Water (twelve), Advanced Open Water (six) and ASA (two!). We were proud of all our campers had accomplished in the two weeks they were here. Everyone received a bracelet for passing their crew tests, and most received one for passing the Bosun tests. Mike rounded off the hooplah by giving bright, yellow burgees to returning Sail Caribbean campers, to their delight! He said he hoped he could hand more out next summer!!

Then it was time for the slideshow. Every boat had picked a couple songs to play during the presentation of all the pictures taken during the program. It was fun to see moments from just two weeks ago that seemed like they happened longer ago than that! We ooh’d and aah’d as our friends images came up on the screen.

As the slideshow finished, an ice cream truck pulled up and everyone swarmed. After they got a pre-bedtime treat, they all headed back to boats for one last boat meeting and climbed into bed for an early wakeup.

Before the sun came up fully, we were all wide awake and gathering to be picked up by taxis. Muffins in hand for the ride, we all waved goodbye and were sent off to travel home, where we’d certainly relay our fun and educational experiences to our loved ones! Thank you to all for a memorable Alpha and Tango program. See you next summer!

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