Written by Henry Joslin-Davis and Mia Altenau
Edited by Meredith Evridge
The sun appeared on the horizon, slowly illuminating our stunning Long Bay surroundings. A lovely bay with a long white sand beach, the views truly never get old. We had a classic Sail Caribbean breakfast buffet of bagels, oatmeal, ceareal, yogurt and fruit. Some of our divers were sent off to their appointment with the ocean. While they were on their morning dive, everyone else gathered on Pom D’oh and Parsifal for a really swell snorkel. The pair of catamarans up-anchored and motored over to Lee Bay for its clear waters and plentiful fish. Students kept an eye out for lionfish and juvenile parrotfish in order to tally their numbers for the marine environmental workers at Sail Caribbean Divers. It was also nice to hang out with other boats, changing up the social scene for the morning.
The two boats returned to Long Bay to be reunited with the divers before lunch.
Our fleet was instructed to get ready to sail to Hodges Creek Marina, where we had begun so long ago (a week and a half seems to stretch when each day is so full!). We experienced a random gust of thirty knot winds so we held off on raising sails. Sail Caribbean drops sails in 24-27 knots for safety, so we weathered through the gust with motors running. The increase in wind lasted about half an hour and we were able to unfurl the jib once the wind died down.
The high winds caused large swells which were fun to motor through!
Docking at Hodges went incredibly fast this time now that our savvy sailors had had practice. Our land operations and office staff caught our lines with a welcoming smile, and our afternoon on docks kicked off. We had a to-do list, so we got cracking immediately. The boats needed to be cleaned top to bottom, we needed land showers, and we also needed to call home! Once each boat was shipshape and each camper was sparkling clean from their scrub on land, phones were handed out. This is always a treat, with everyone getting to update parents and friends on their amazing time with Sail Caribbean! It is also nice for those that miss home to get to hear familiar voices and say “I’ll see you soon!” Once all had connected with home, they deposited their phones in their captain’s phone container.
Being on docks, the whole fleet got to spend the evening bouncing between boats and chatting with neighbors. A group of divers took a short jaunt over to a rad night dive! Dinner was baked spaghetti. This was followed by a hilarious talent show led by two of our peppiest staff. We clearly have a creative crew here, as was evidenced by several rounds of synchronized dancing, and a fun call-and-response song. After the applause finally died down, our divers had returned and the ice cream materialized before our eyes. There were four flavors, and cones too! Exhausted by another jam-packed day, we meandered off to home boats, had boat meetings, and called it a night.
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.