Bravo 1, Charlie 1, Foxtrot 1 & Sierra 1, Day 14: Challenge Day Sail to Mountain Point
Written by Henry Joslin-Davis
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Today was Challenge Day for the campers. This is the day we work towards, where the budding sailors take over the boat. In order to accomplish the sail to Mountain Point, they have to work together and use the collective knowledge that they’ve all accumulated since their first time on a sailboat! The counselors take a step back and let the campers run it all, only adding suggestions or corrections when necessary. The only reason they’d step in is if there was an issue of safety. Other than that, the kids are in charge.
Challenge Day is about more than just sailing. The campers also have to keep the schedule that their Fleet Captain gives them, as well as make sure that the boat gets cleaned. It is a lesson on accountability and communication. Really, the entire sail is left to them to delegate among themselves in order to stay on schedule. This is excellent for improving the quality of teamwork and group dynamics!
Early in the morning, the skipper, mate and navigator were the first to wake up. Counselors dinghied them over to staff boat for a meeting on how the sail would go. Going over the itinerary with the Fleet Captain, campers wrote notes fervently. Hearing that they would be delegating tasks to their peers made their eyes a bit wider, but the corners of their mouths rose as well! The same reaction occurred when they were told that they could only ask three questions during the whole sail. What a good challenge for the day. The Fleet Captain also showed the navigators how to get to Mountain Point.
It was up to these campers to relay the information back to their boats. They did this over breakfast. The usual morning routine ensued, with breakfast clean, boat clean and pre-departure checks. When boats were ready to drop the ball, they began their sail from Trellis.
Skippers took over the helm and boat with confidence. As sails were raised and jibs unfurled, the communication between the helm and the bow was relayed effectively. It was another smooth sail with the campers identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Anything from realizing they were good leaders to being particularly savvy with navigation, skills were recognized and appreciated. The adult versions of captain and mate were able to empower their students to ask each other for help.
Mountain Point came into view and sails were hauled in. The anchor was dropped and we could enjoy the beauty of Mountain Point from the water. We spent the next few hours in a blissful state of swimming, snorkeling, and hopping from boat to boat. Friends visited each other, jumped off the bow, and snacked on Tostitos and salsa. A round of Poparazzi was held by our land operations staff. They loved taking it for a spin, going as fast as they requested until the operator said that it was fast enough!! It was an afternoon to remember, feeling happy and safe and secure.
After boat showers, some boats had jerk chicken for dinner and others made a pasta meal. Boat meetings were held and the sunset dazzled us all once more.
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.