Bravo 1, Charlie 1, Foxtrot 1 & Sierra 1, Days 17 and 18: Adventures at Great and Little Harbor
Written by Henry Joslin-Davis
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Waking up at Scrub Island, we enjoyed our staple breakfast buffet. Nothing like a bowl of cereal and some fresh fruit with yogurt to get yourself symmetric. The bowls and accoutrements were cleared away while the pre departure checks were sorted out. On went the sunscreen and down went the water. Feeling like all our T’s were crossed and I’s dotted, the engine rumbled to a start. Our skippers of the day held a firm handle on the helm and on the salty crew while the mates supported and the navigators kept our destination in sight. It was a fresh, clear day and we were loving being on the water. The DJ of the day on each boat made sure to keep the tunes upbeat and everyone jived all morning. Arriving at beautiful Great Harbor around lunchtime, we fueled up for the second half of the day. Sierra had their project to work on, so that kept them busy for awhile. Foxtrot invested their time in taking the Colgates out, enjoying watersports as well.
While this was going on, Charlie and Bravo had an afternoon dive at The Fearless and The Wreck of the Rhone, two sunken ships, and later that evening had a night dive on Randy’s Reef. They saw a turtle – sleeping! Imagine, taking a snooze while the waves rock you to sleep. Oh wait – we do that every night!! The divers also swam in bioluminescence and were truly illuminated from within and without.
Dinnertime rolled around, as per usual. Tonight’s menu was was stuffed peppers with meat, rice and cheese. It was simply delicious. One boat made orange cake for fun, juicing oranges into their cake mix and into the frosting. You wouldn’t believe all the different kinds of cakes that have been made in the past three weeks. After boat showers and boat meeting, the day came to an end for tomorrow, we would head to Little Harbor.
Today, Mega Fleet woke up at Great Harbor on Peter Island. We were lucky enough to have an 8 AM lay in, which rarely happens! Shortly after breakfast, the first wave of divers were picked up for a morning dive. While the divers were away, the rest of Mega Fleet sailed from Great Harbor on Peter Island to Little Harbor, also on Peter Island! It was a very short sail just around the corner. All of the boats med anchored at Little Harbor which takes a bit of time. A reminder of what med anchoring is for those that need a refresher; it is short for Mediterranean anchoring. You drop the anchor as usual at the bow, but then you tie a line to the stern of the vessel and attach it to something secure on land like a rock or tree. It takes longer than just anchoring because of the extra steps, and due to all of the boats having to take their turn one by one with the staff helping out. Those that were waiting to have med anchor instructions floated nearby, practicing other skills or getting lunch started.
Once all boats were secure, the dive boat came and took the next wave of divers for an afternoon under the sea. While they were going about their ocean business, the other campers did their cleaning chores, swam around and socialized between boats. It was one of those afternoons where we all felt relaxed and lucky to be where we were.
A few hours later, we saw the dive boat approaching in all its splendor. We prepared to meet them with dinghies and take our kids back to home boats. Soxtrot went turtling but didn’t report sightings of turtles in that area. Later that evening, the rescue and divemaster divers got to participate in a VISAR (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue) scenario. Our kids got to work side by side with VISAR during a medical scenario to “save” some “patients.” It was clearly a drill but was incredibly valuable experience for our kids. As VISAR is made up of volunteers, they also always appreciate the opportunity to come over to our boats and do drills. You can never practice too much when safety is involved. To end the medical session, the kids got to take a short ride on the VISAR speedboat. They have to move very fast to get to medical emergencies so their boat is fully equipped! It was more fun than Disneyland. We watched them jet around from our bows, and they came back with huge smiles.
Before boat meeting and powering down for the night, the campers took the crew test and passed with flying colors! What an eventful, exciting day.
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.