July 1, 2016
Today was all about the divers and in particular, celebrating our newly certified Open Water divers! The morning started with diving, and the day also, ended with diving.
In between, we also managed to get ashore to Cooper Island Beach Club. These days, Cooper Island is a beautiful resort, complete with palm trees and white sand beaches. History tells the story of Leonard Cornelius, a talented farmer, builder and boat captain. It was he, who with his wife Maria, carried sand in pannier baskets by donkey, and planted the palms that line the beach. He and his wife were famous also for raising twenty children on the island!
Meanwhile… Alpha and Delta fleets have been having a lot of fun ‘pranking’ each other, trading back and forth giant inflatable animal floaties – Delta staff got in on the fun also, helping disguise a giant inflatable sting-ray by hiding it between the bed sheets in the Captains’ quarters… One can only imagine how bonkers it must have appeared when opening the door…
Back on the boats by midday, we got ready to passage. Today, we went about 10nm upwind to Savannah Bay. Delta fleet decided to mix things up a little and so we mixed up the Captains and Mates to create a ‘ladies’ and a ‘gents’ sailing day. Both crews had a lot of fun, hanging out in new groups and with new staff. As we got underway, the wind was building as a small low pressure system came through the islands. We reefed our mainsail (reducing the amount of sail surface area) and flew atop the waves, tacking our way upwind to our next stop in paradise.
Coming into Savannah bay was surreal… imagine a beautiful white sand beach, fringed by yet another coral reef, however, this time, the reef is well disguised from the sea, meaning we had lookouts on the bow as we wove through coral heads and found the exact, perfectly sandy spot to anchor. Once secured, we all jumped in the water with masks and snorkel and swam along the anchor chain, just to make sure it looked good for our overnight stay. Along the chain, the crew of Meursault came across 2 sting-rays…resting and feeding through their amazing crushing plates along the ocean floor.
In the evening, we had guest staff join our boats for the evening…as Captains, Mates and the Program Director got together to do more planning for down island… just a couple of days before we head out!
Dinner was yummy stuffed Portobello mushrooms, followed by cookies (the sugary, yummy kind – like all good cookies should be) …and so, like crepuscular animals of the twilight, as the sun set, campers got ‘sugar rushed’ and had a glorious hour of energy, laughter and fun before crashing into hammocks and cabins under fans at full force, and dreaming of upcoming adventures.
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.