Written by Julian Reda
Edited by Meredith Evridge
The day started with a nice wake-up at the beautiful Bight on Norman Island. After all boats were gathered around their respective breakfast tables for scrambled eggs and bagels, the divers were escorted ashore early. The Open Water students completed the first of their confined water dives while the rest of the divers (Advanced Open Water and Fun) went to Angelfish Reef. While they discovered clear waters and vibrant sea creatures, all of the other campers were brought ashore for a hike up to a helipad on the top of Norman Island. At the helipad, we played “Where the Wind Blows” and “Biggest Fan,” two of Sail Caribbean’s favorite icebreakers. We snapped a group shot and then headed back down to the beach. After returning from the hike, we had some beach time where students went tubing, small-boat sailing, hung out in the sun and sand, or purchased a refreshment from the cafe.
As the divers returned, it was time to head back to boats for lunch. After smashing some grilled cheese sandwiches, the Open Water students then headed back to do another confined water dive. All others headed to the Indians, a cool rock formation, and some caves, for a snorkel along the incredible coral. These two snorkel sites were both just a short motor away from our mooring. Though the snorkelers ran into a cluster of stinging jelly cells and called off the snorkel, they did have time to spot a turtle, lots of vibrant parrotfish, and blue tangs before they took off their masks and fins! A lesson was held on coral and dangerous creatures, and then we all headed back to the Bight.
Back at the Bight, it was time for dinner prep. We were to have barbeque chicken and buttery mashed potatoes. After this delicious dinner, the fun divers headed back to the dive boat for a night dive. While they were spotting night adaptations and bio-luminescence, their non-diving counterparts watched the sunset from their hammocks and curled up with some good reading material. After the divers returned, we had a boat meeting – and that concluded our third day together.
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.