July 19, 2016
This morning, we had an early start at Cooper Island, dropping off our Open Water divers on shore for them to start their first set of confined skills practice. We then dropped our mooring at Cooper and headed to Salt Island for the morning. Over at Salt, our remaining students and staff dinghied ashore along with students and staff from various other programs for a group hike! From the beach, we walked first to the salt flats that give the island its name, hearing the story of the island’s abandoned homestead and the ship wreck just off its coastline. We then hiked to the top of Salt’s hill where we were rewarded with an incredible view: the open Atlantic on one side and the Caribbean Sea and the gorgeous BVI’s on the other.
Back at our boats post-hike, we went back to Cooper and retrieved our divers for a lunch of pita sandwiches in the cockpit. After eating, we took our Discovery scuba divers to shore for their first ever diving experience! Meanwhile, other students hung out on shore at Cooper, enjoyed water sports, snacks at the cafe and sailing on our small keel boat Opal Bella. After an afternoon full of fun in the sun, we all headed back to boats where we had a delicious stir fry dinner. Then came our evening activity: a social onshore where students had the opportunity to mingle and have treats from the restaurant. Back at boats, we finished our full day with a boat meeting on the bow followed by group stargazing where many of us drifted off to sleep, looking forward to the next amazing day in the Caribbean.
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.