written by Social Media Coordinator, Ryan Smith
August 7, 2017
The whole team was moving about extra excited today, preparing for our arriving students today! Days like today are a habitual amount of collected chaos, with many moving parts maneuvering amongst each other, even from two different islands. Although the day can be rather long and tiring for our traveling teens, at the end of the day, it’s almost palpable that it is also the beginning of something gigantic!
At our base, operations and sail staff awoke with the sun and went about the day prepping boats, inventory, provisioning, the works! Three of our staff members headed over bright and early to the St Thomas airport via a beautiful, sunny ferry ride to greet arriving flyers. We had a few students join us by other various methods throughout the day as well, but the majority of our students arrived in waves of flights to the USVIs.
Finally in the hands of our excited staff, students arriving from all over the world collected their baggage and were led by staff in different groups back to Hodges Creek Marina on Tortola, Sail Caribbean’s home base. The hour long ferry ride already had everyone mesmerized by the place they will call home for the next two weeks. Once through Customs and Immigrations, we were greeted by our taxis and swept off to base. The taxi ride took a turn for the wetter as we were met by a squall but all the students had grins on their faces as they watched the island dampen from the inside of the safari bus.
When we were altogether back at Hodges, students were given their boat placements and were eager to get off their feet and settle in, meeting and mingling with their new crewmates along the way. It wasn’t long before we all were enjoying a delicious meal of chicken, rice and coleslaw, freely devouring it from the cockpits of our new homes, among new friends.
Each boat’s crew then held their first boat meeting within their yacht’s salon. During each boat meeting, crews got acquainted with each other and had brief introductions to different aspects of the program, such as the roles on the duty roster and ship’s logs. After wrapping up the meeting, students were quick to relish in the opportunity to rest up from a long day of travel, and in anticipation of leaving the docks the following morning. Look forward to the crews’ boat photos prior to leaving docks in the next trip update for Day 2, or have an early look for yourself as they are posted on our Sail Caribbean Facebook page.
A brief note about today, August 8th: Although you will be able to enjoy a full trip update post for Day 2 of program, we would like to let you know that the BVIs were hit with a rain storm yesterday evening which continued on to this morning. The program continued about the morning as planned, although experiencing spats of phone service and internet access outages. The students and staff were pleased to make their way off docks and across the channel over to Cooper Island Beach Club earlier today for their first day on the water! The beach club greeted them with the opportunity to take on various watersports (kayaks and stand up paddle boards) and the refreshing treat of ice cream and smoothies. The islands’ service and internet issues have been being rectified throughout the day and we’re optimistic all issues will be settled by the end of the evening.
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.