Written by Sinéad Power
Edited by Meredith Evridge
(continued from the afternoon of Day 8, when the Delta crew left Marina Cay!)
By 3 PM, Mayotte and Zanzibar began motoring from Marina Cay into the channel, and sails were raised for the Leeward Islands. Dinner underway was quite an experience for campers who tucked into broccoli, turkey pasta and also watched some get taken away in gusts!
Every hour, students put their navigation to good use, radioing the other boat to exchange coordinates, plotting the location and calculating the distance and direction. Monitoring this is essential to ensure both boats are within range but not too close.
From 9 PM, shifts begin. One staff and five students remain in the cockpit, sailing close haul while remaining crew head below and try to rest. Apart from hourly check-ins, crew on shift are alone with the sea and the stars and occasionally joined by someone feeling seasick below.
The sun rose over the 3-6 AM shift with blue skies and a hint of land in the distance. From 8 AM onwards, students rose in dribs and drabs, nibbling snacks, napping, taking turns on the helm, and assisting tacks. WAM (water appreciation moment) was the word of the day as we tried to stay hydrated in the heat of the sun. After twenty five hours of sail, two sleepy boats picked up mooring balls at Île Fourchue. A short dinghy ride saw everyone to shore for a sunset hike. A welcome and airy change from scrambling around underway!
As darkness fell, we returned to boats for showers and dinner prep. Everyone tucked into a well earned dinner of jerk chicken before dinner clean and boat meeting. It was an early night for all.
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.