August 9, 2016
This morning, our crews woke up on the docks at Hodges Creek Marina, ready for their first full day on program! Right away, each of our three boats began breakfast preparation, munching on bagels with cream cheese, cereal, yogurt and fruit.
Our morning was then spent visiting the Sail Caribbean dive shop to get gear and sort paperwork for our campers that would be diving as well as doing a prior-to-first lesson in which staff taught students all about the boats they would be living on for the next two weeks.
Next up was a lesson in dedocking where our student skipper of the day on each vessel worked with their captain or mate to make a dedocking plan. Life jackets on and crews ready to go, our fleet got off the docks at Hodges headed for the Bight on Norman Island. After a lunch of pita sandwiches underway, our crews were taught how to raise their sails as well as about downwind sailing.
As we approached our destination for the day, our fleet dropped their sails and each boat’s crew received a lesson on mooring ball pickup. Once crews had successfully moored at the Bight, they learned how to tie on a secondary mooring line and all passed a swim test. Divers were then shuttled ashore for their first day of diving while non-divers all grouped together on one boat for a lesson on marine hazards followed by a snorkel of the nearby reef.
With everyone back on their boats as late afternoon rolled around, students had their first boat showers of program and then gathered for a yummy dinner of burritos. Bellies full and dishes cleaned, our evenings ended in a bit of hang out time and boat meetings. Exhausted from the big first day in the BVIs, our crews drifted off to sleep, excited for the adventures to come.
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.