Written by Powell Forshaw
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Tuesday morning started at 7:00 with a tasty breakfast buffet. We indulged in an array of cereals, yogurts and bagels. After a speedy breakfast cleanup to one of our favorite pump-up playlists, we applied sunscreen, filled our Nalgenes and headed ashore. Our group of Open Water divers got to work on their course as Advanced Open Water and Fun diving headed down to the depths. Those on shore played various beach games such as spikeball, soccer and beach lacrosse, and splashed in the water. We gathered everyone for a short hike to the top of Norman Island, where we played some True Course games (team building activities) on a huge helipad! We enjoyed the breeze at the top and threw on our best smiles for a group picture. Once we were back down on the shore, beach games and sunsoaking resumed. We also had a blast tubing and wakeboarding outside the mooring field. By 11:30, we were all ready for a lunch break so we headed back to boats for grilled cheese sandwiches.
As we got some shade and rehydrated, we prepared to snorkel The Indians, a cool rock formation with vibrant sea life, and some caves, both only a short motor outside of the Bight. The coral was healthy and there were many bright kinds of fish greeting us. The groups snorkeled around for about an hour, until we noticed the water near the caves had some stinging cells. So, we had a detour to an amazing lesson that was led by our knowledgeable marine bio staff. We talked about coral, dangerous critters, and had an introduction to snorkeling. Some of us got to take the Colgates out for a spin in the channel while others swam and relaxed back in the cool waters of The Bight’s mooring field. Before long, it was time for some refreshing boat showers. Those on dinner duty prepared BBQ chicken, buttery mashed potatoes, bell peppers, onions and pineapple. It was all delicious. We concluded our day with a boat clean, followed by a boat meeting. We debriefed our day and it was truly a boat bonding session with our new buds.
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.