written by Delta student, David Dayan of the Rioja crew
August 3, 2017
The crews of Rioja and Xeres were able to sleep in this morning after a hectic night, during which we had to pick up a mooring ball at night. After waking up at roughly 8:30a.m., the crew of Rioja enjoyed pancakes for breakfast before motoring over to Long Bay, Beef Island. The trip was very short, and after only 20 minutes or so, the crews of Rioja and Xeres anchored at the destination.
On the short trip from Trellis to Long Bay, the two boats saw other boats in the fleet for the first time since they left for the Leeward Islands! After anchoring, the crews reveled in their return to the “mega fleet.” The crews made lunch and hung out on the boats and in the water until the early afternoon before heading over land for the Sail Caribbean Olympics. The Olympics consisted of four events in which the two boats faced off against each other, neither boat having any idea what the events would be like prior to starting.
The first event was a synchronized swimming competition, which required the two crews to come up with and perform a routine in the water. The second event was the dizzy fender race. In this event, the crews lined up and, one by one, ran backwards wearing snorkel fins along the beach before running in circles around a fender, getting very dizzy in the meantime. After spinning around the fender 10 times, the students then had to run back and tag the next person in the their line. The third event was a tug of war between the crews of each boat. After a very short struggle, the crew of Xeres gave up and dropped the rope, causing the entire crew of Rioja to fall down. Despite getting incredibly sandy due to Xeres’ maneuver, the crew of Rioja did end up winning the tug of war. The last event was a sand art competition, in which the crews each made a work of art by burying a staff member. The students laughed at all stages of this event, from the conception of the ideas to the telling of the backstories behind the works of art.
After the Olympics concluded, the crews mingled with the students in the mega fleet and enjoyed watersports, small boat sailing, and more. The Delta crews then returned to their boats for the last ocean showers of the program before returning to land for burgers, hot dogs, and chips at a beach barbeque put on by the office and operations staff. After dinner, all students returned to their boats, where they enjoyed the remaining hours of the night, knowing full well how close to the end of the program they were getting.
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.