written by Mate-In-Training, Megan Lundequam
July 4, 2017
We woke up bright and early after a day of small boat sailing and volleyball games in order to begin our sail to Trellis Bay! Every summer, for the Fourth of July, Aragorn Local Art Centre agrees to host all of the Sail Caribbean programs, lights the fireball statues ablaze on top of the water and provides DJ equipment and an open gazebo so that all of the students in every program can come together for one night to mingle and celebrate and chatter about what an amazing time they’ve been having on program so far. Needless to say, everyone was very excited to be heading back to Trellis and for what fun was in store on shore later that evening. The sail went so smoothly and the students continue to amaze the staff and themselves alike with all that they have learned. With Challenge Day now far behind us, the students are beginning to fully take over their boats and demonstrate a thorough understanding of sailing.
The students picked up a mooring ball at Trellis with ease and dove straight into lunch prep while others on the boat swam around and floated in the mooring field. With full bellies and a clean boat, we started our swim to shore for our afternoon mangrove lesson. The beach that lines the east side of Trellis bay is home to a forest of mangroves and, this afternoon, also served as our classroom. With real life examples by our side, we learned all about these magnificent plants including their ability to improve water quality by filtering out toxins in the water and also catching larger debris during tidal swings. We also learned that they act as a nursery for many species of large fish and even help to prevent runoff by keeping islands intact with their extensive root system. We ended the lesson with a snorkel clean where we collected any trash we found on the island and as we snorkeled back. By the time we made it back to boats, we had 3 bags full of trash and a new found appreciation for mangroves.
As soon as we disposed of our findings, we began showering and getting ready for our night on shore. Transom Dance Parties were in full swing as we danced and jammed to music while shampooing and conditioning our hair. We had a quick dinner but everyone was too caught up in finding the right outfits and gathering anything and everything they owned that was red, white or blue. Finally we were ready to head to shore and the crews loaded up in their dinghies and shuttled students towards the lights and music. On shore, we danced the night away, only pausing to chug some water and wipe our sweat before hopping back in upon hearing our favorite tunes. Some students ordered a soda or two while others lounged in the massive multi-human hammocks strung in the trees, but everyone had a chance to cut back and mingle with some pals before heading back to our respective boats and wind down from an evening of fun. And as for the Delta students, we had a relatively quick power-down once we returned to boats so we can wake up well rested and ready to prepare for our over-night sail down to the Leeward Islands!
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.