Bravo 1 & Charlie 1 2015 – Day 8

written by Photography mate, Erin Wildermuth, Brought to you by the crew of Fermi

Today the divers of Charlie and Bravo reunited underwater. Chris hit 1000 minutes of underwater breathing. Reagan, Ben and Ford were fun diving and saw a lionfish and spider crabs. They also finned into a stellar cave formation. Annie completed her search and recover certification where she learned the various search patters and practiced recovering heavy items – specifically a very heavy, large chain – with a lift bag. Hayes and Jackson will finally be able to join in on the more advanced fun as they completed their open water course and officially became certified scuba divers. Murrie dove on nitrox for the first time and passed her exam for the nitrox certification with flying colors.

Six students, including Dante, opted to remain above water and visit the Virgin Gorda Copper Mine. There was talk of purchased water balloons and plummeting the dive boat with gleeful rubber-enclosed sea-water but in the end our leave no trace policy dictated that various pieces of rubber balloon was too high a price to pay for this hilarity.

When the divers returned the whole fleet prepared lunch, consumed lunch and cleaned the boat. They enjoyed the eating more than the cooking and cleaning, but are beginning to note the importance of cleanliness under such tight living conditions.

Three pre-departure checks later our boats were off on sail. The winds are still strong so many a sail was reefed and many a heel was heavy. Our instructors competed with the wind and waves, teaching basic standards for right of way underway, the meanings and intricacies of navigational buoys and channel markings both within the United States and internationally. They also practiced knots, with Jackie and Ben perfecting every knot necessary to be signed off on the skill. To add a bit of humor and humanity to a long, eventful day, Frances could be found napping in the oddest of places. Heavy heeling doesn’t allow for very effective napping, however, so she found herself enjoying the sail and spray of salt water despite herself.

The evening saw our famed Sail Caribbean Chili Cook Off. The students competed on taste and theme, presenting bowls of chili to visiting Chileans for their approval. They will discover whose chili (and whose theme) has won during the awards ceremony at the end of program.

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