Written by Tim Caruso (Day 8) and Powell Forshaw (Day 9)
Edited by Meredith Evridge
This morning, our crew woke to the tantalizing aroma of french toast that was provided by our breakfast prep team. After making enough for extra snacks later, we gathered at the helm to discuss our plan for a challenge sail raise. Our captain and mate would step back from the spotlight for a moment and challenge the crew to maneuver on their own, preparing for their approaching Challenge Day.
The process of raising sails took a bit longer today as the crew took time to plan and communicate well what needed to happen. However, once we got our mainsail up, letting out our jib seemed like a no-brainer. With both sails full of wind and our stomachs full of maple syrup, we tacked back and forth upwind, around the north side of Tortola. We were heading towards Trellis Bay. One of our vessels, Ormindo, struck a record program speed of 10.8 knots! Excited by the power of the wind, we navigated through the Guana Island Cut and dropped our sails towards Trellis Bay. As
we approached, our Captain and Mate once again stepped back to let our crew perform a challenge mooring ball pickup. Encouraged from the morning challenge, the crew took on the maneuver with confidence, and shortly after headed to shore.
After visiting the shops and stores at Trellis Bay, the crew was treated to truck tours of Tortola. Views from high and low gave the crew a different perspective of the islands, and steep hills were exciting to drive on. We returned to boats around 5:30 for our boat showers, and began a dinner prep of honey mustard chicken with onions and peppers. As the crew munched on the meal, they reflected on the day’s events and knew they were ready for Challenge Day. After the nightly boat clean, the crew then played some True Course games and headed to bed early for the next morning’s sail to Anegada.
Today, we started our day bright and early in the mooring field of Trellis, looking forward to our day in Anegada! We all had our favorite parts of the usual morning spread. Yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, and fresh fruit greeted our senses. After breakfast, all the gals were asked to gather their things and disperse to one half of the boats, while all the fellas were shuttled to our boat (Jelliblu). For the lads, it was a welcome change to get to hang out with no girls around because they were outnumbered!
Anegada slowly came into view, trees first. It is a flat island so it took awhile for the outline of the island to really be visible. The water surrounding this gorgeous paradise is clear blue and very inviting! Once we selected the best of the mooring balls, everyone was returned to their boats in time for lunch. We cooked what seemed like a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches which we enjoyed along with a watermelon we had been saving for just the right opportunity. We quickly cleaned up after lunch and were shuttled ashore so we could be trucked over to Cow Wreck, a local restaurant on the beach. According to local lore, the location got its name after a barge full of cows wrecked just off of the beach. We enjoyed the the day at Cow Wreck. There was a really interesting coral lesson from our marine bio staff, which also included how Anegada was formed and why it helps make the BVIs such an amazing sailing location.
Before long, it was time to return to our boats. The evening winded down with saucy steak fajitas and a relaxing boat meeting where we howled at the full moon along with the rest of the fleet.
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.