written by Alpha/Charlie mate, Meredith Davies
August 8, 2017
On our first morning in the British Virgin Islands, the crews of Rioja and Xeres woke up to a very damp Hodges Creek Marina. In good spirits, we embraced the wet and went about our day as planned. Students started their morning with a meeting with Sail Caribbean Divers and then crews had a prior-to-first sail lesson where they learned the ins and outs of their new homes on the water.
When the staff and students were prepped for departure, they dedocked with ease and set their sails for Cooper Island across the Sir Francis Drake channel. Once we arrived, the sun began to peak through the dismal clouds and we couldn’t have been more excited. Students had their first jumps into the blue, Caribbean water before heading to shore for an afternoon of fun.
Onshore, students had tropical smoothie drinks, snacks, and spent time on standuppaddleboards and kayaks. Students had the opportunity to do some shopping and spent time bonding with their new crewmates.
In the evening, the crews headed back to their home boats to learn how to take ocean showers followed by fresh water rinses. The students had so much fun jumping in the water with their new friends as the sun set on their first day on the water. In the evening, students had their first dinner cooked by their crews and learned about how we keep our boats clean and tidy. After boat meeting, the crews were exhausted and excited for a good night of 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.