written by Delta student, David Dayan of the Rioja crew
July 30, 2017
Today’s start was the earliest to date, with both boats waking up at 5:30a.m. to prepare for the sail from St. Kitts to Saba. After getting off of the docks and out into the open water, some students went into the salon and their cabins to get some more sleep while others remained above to help raise the sails. After only a few minutes of sailing, the crews were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of a pod of dolphins. The dolphins swam playfully alongside the boat, and several students donned life jackets and emerged from the salon, still half asleep, to watch. The boats continued to sail towards Saba, and only shortly after their initial encounter, the crews once again were accompanied by a pod of dolphins as well as flying fish.
The crews of both boats got good practice for the next overnight passage, as they sailed downwind and conducted several smooth jibes on their journey to Saba. The students were amazed as they approached Saba, as the island was unlike any other in the Leeward Islands or BVIs. The volcanic rocks of the island immediately jut up out of the water to form beautiful cliffs and rocks faces, which are dotted with the occasional building.
After picking up mooring balls in Well’s Bay, the crews enjoyed some time in the water, swimming with turtles and a small nurse shark. The crew of Rioja was then shuttled over to Xeres, where the students mingled and hung out in the water. Many students found their way to one of the many seaside cliffs, where they climbed up a short ways in order to jump off into the blue waters below. Students enjoyed music and snacks on Xeres before separating and returning to their respective boats to shower and enjoy the sunset.
After everyone had showered, the crew of Rioja enjoyed an impromptu guitar session before going back to Xeres for an excellent meal of chicken, rice, plantains, and cake. After dinner was cleaned, the crews talked and reflected on an excellent day before returning to their boats to settle down 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.