Written by Katie Tuck
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Waking up at the usual time of 7 AM in Little Harbor, Peter Island, the scent of pancakes made our eyes open wider. Some boats even got creative and mixed crushed Oreos in their batter, to the delight of many. After breakfast was savored and cleaned up, we corralled all of our Foxtrot and Sierra campers for turtle tagging! Within the first five minutes, one of our students had caught one! It was the first time in two years that a student had caught one, so it was extra exciting for our campers! This turtle had also never been tagged before. Students snapped into scientific mode, sitting quietly around research table after they had named the turtle “Goose.” A couple of students would step in at a time, running the measurements of Goose’s plastron and carapace. They would take notes on the specifics of this creature, then one of our trained marine bio staff would transfer it onto the official document on the computer. From Goose’s arrival to departure, it took twenty four minutes. The student who caught the turtle also got to release it after slowly acclimating it back into the water, waiting for it to inhale a breath of fresh air, then letting it wiggle away.
While Foxtrot and Sierra were busy with this process, Bravo and Charlie had an ASA 101 lesson on basic keelboating theory. Another day closer to their certification! Our rescue divers achieved their EFR (Emergency First Response), and our divemaster worked on confined water skills as well! Additionally, some of our campers got to wakeboard and snorkel before we headed out. Lunch was held underway after upanchoring. One of the Chavo boats had to manually uphaul their anchor as their windlass let them down. But, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of manual labor, especially when there is such a strong team working together. The sail to Cane Garden Bay was 12.7 knots, and it took about two hours and forty minutes to arrive. The highest boat speed today was 8.7 knots. It was an excellent sailing day, with downwind and upwind sailing. Our monohulls experienced major heel on their boats and the students were loving it. All hands were on deck! Mega Fleet also enjoyed having a bigger crew than usual, due to our divers being with us for this sail! As we arrived, we prepared for picking up a mooring ball which went smoothly. Cane Garden is absolutely stunning, with light blue water and white sand beaches. We all enjoyed free time, swimming around our boats, and some reported sightings of dolphins.
Dinner was chicken quesadillas, and then it was time to head ashore. We gathered at Pussers restaurant, having refreshing drinks or appetizers, and supporting a small ice cream shop that was affected by the hurricane. The owner has slowly built up her business again with the help of our campers and other folks looking for a tasty treat.
It was truly a beautiful day. After boat meeting, we all went to sleep.