August 1, 2016
Day 16 of Delta began a little differently than most days do. Why? Because the legendary Challenge Day was finally upon our crew! This day, a very special Sail Caribbean tradition, comes around just once in a program and allows students a time to showcase what they have learned so far.
For the full day, they are expected to make sure things run smoothly from wakeup, to daily duties, to sailing the vessel and arriving at our destination, all within a given schedule that they set. As a result, our morning in St. Kitts began with students prompting our staff to wake up bright and early and getting everyone above deck for dedocking.
After a very nice departure from the docks, our skipper of the day motored us out of the marina and, with the help of the mate and navigator, facilitated our boat getting under sail and pointed in the right direction. Our next and final destination in the Leewards, we were headed for Saba, a gorgeous volcanic island of Dutch territory. Underway, our students were challenged by slightly rough waters and high winds, which they navigated wonderfully. We even saw a pod of dolphins, an awesome addition to the excitement of Challenge Day!
After a great sail, the crew finally found its way to Ladder Bay on Saba, where they executed a perfect mooring ball pick up. Sticking to the schedule, the students started on lunch prep right away, eager to get on land and see what was beyond Saba’s insanely steep coastal cliffs. Spaghetti lunch completed, the crew got their things together and waited for the dive boat, acting as a kind of water taxi for the afternoon, to come and pick us up.
On the dive boat, we motored over to Fort Bay where we met up with our taxi driver and began the drive up to the top of one is Saba’s biggest attractions, the ladder. A very steep staircase that runs down the side of the mountainous island, the staircase was once the only way to move things on and off of Saba, walking it all from the sea up. Once the crew had hiked their way down and then back up the famous trail, we then met back up with our taxi driver and headed into Windward Side, Saba’s main town.
Evening quickly approaching, we made our way over to one of Saba’s many lovely restaurants for a presentation about the island followed by a delicious pasta dinner. Ready to go back to the boat, we hopped back in the taxi and then onto the dive boat, making our way to our vessel for the night. Having had just a taste of the gorgeous island, we all went to bed ready for another day of exploration tomorrow.
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.