Written by Mia Altenau
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Campers woke up to rowdy Trellis Bay seas. Fortunately enough for the sail ahead, the waves would die down and the wind would pick up to a steady fifteen knots.
Everyone sleepily made their way to the breakfast table. A buffet set out for ease, we grabbed a bagel with cream cheese and jam, or cereal. Some with bigger appetites opted to make scrambled eggs. A morning chock-full of activities gave the day a running start. Open Water divers met on shore for a fun dive while remaining campers were taken on a final truck tour of Tortola. Chavo and Soxtrot campers then joined together for a beach clean. The recent hurricane’s lasting effects are evident at many shores among the BVIs. Various yacht and building debris still litter various beaches. The beach clean was a great opportunity for the students to give back to the land and sea by picking up the debris and thus lessening the harsh impact of microplastics on the ocean habitats. Next, campers returned to boats for a hot lunch of pizza bagels before dropping the ball for the sail. This afternoon’s destination was Anegada, a daunting eighteen nautical miles from Tortola. The fleet sailed through dusk and finally moored at Anegada as the sun set.
Anegada is so flat, you can’t see it for awhile. It appears so slowly that it felt like we were in open ocean. The water became clearer and more azure. We truly had reached paradise! We learned that Anegada is a coral atoll, which is when the island slowly sinks and the coral is exposed to the air and sun. It bleaches, and forms a thick layer of limestone. The reefs around Anegada are incredible. Thoroughly worn out, campers showered, had dinner of chicken curry and coconut rice, and passed out for the 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.