written by Alpha mate, Sarah McMeikin
August 1, 2017
After a breezy night on the ball at Bitter End, we woke up early for a breakfast of bagel, cereal, fruit and yogurts. After breakfast, we made our way over to Prickly Pear island for a marine biology chat about mangroves. Here, we learned the function of mangroves and the important role they play in ocean and coral reef health. After the lesson, we made our way back to boats to get ready for the sail to Mountain Point, Virgin Gorda.
During the sail, we had our final chance to practice raising the main, unfurling the jib and sailing before Challenge Day tomorrow. Because of the strong winds, we sailed with reefed sails but still made great time. After dropping anchor at Mountain Point, lunch was made and the divers prepared for two fun dives.
For the afternoon, the divers dove the Kodiak Queen while the non-divers snorkeled the same site! The Kodiak Queen, originally a ship from Pearl Harbor, is a new wreck, sunk about six months ago as an art installation by Richard Branson. Before it was sunk, it was decorated with a giant Kraken sculptor which was attached to the stern. Although coral is yet to attach to it, it is still quite the sight.
After the dive and snorkel, we returned to boats for a cannon ball competition, of which the winners are yet to be announced. With the beautiful sunset on the horizon, it was time for dinner, showers, clean and the Challenge Day briefing before an early night to bed.
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.