written by mate, Asha Tanna
June 10, 2018
Each day, the teens are learning new sailing skills to put into practice. Today, the students were met by an all too familiar hiccup to those of the boating background – equipment failure. The windlass – the remote that powers the chain of the anchor up and down – jammed. Quick and responsible acting is second nature to our staff, so we used the opportunity to give our student crew a real time hands-on exercise on how to anchor.

Although boat issues can pop up and give us headaches from time to time, the rewards are plentiful especially when they allow you the freedom to travel to new destinations, which is exactly what we got up to! Earlier in the day, the kids were escorted to Salt Island, a short boat ride away from Cooper Island Beach Club.

Here, there’s a small hike up a hill across scorched grass and rock to reveal a 360 degree view of the ocean. The view from the top of the hill over looks the wreck of The Royal Mail Steamer Rhone. It cannot however be seen from land. It lies pretty deep. This is a popular dive site where tourists and our students go. It’s a fantastic wreck that’s scattered all over the ocean floor. In 1867, the ship heeled, broke in two and sank immediately following a bad storm.

While some students gazed on the ocean above it, that evening Advanced Open Water students took their first night dive exploring the wreck. Slipping beneath the waves as the light faded, they used torches to guide their way. For forty minutes, they explored seeing a huge green turtle, lobster and watched bioluminescence light up the water.

The crews have really taken to sailing, enjoying testing out their new skills and interacting well with all their new shipmates. Our skipper of the day led the a majority of the leg of the journey calling out commands with confidence and pride. It’s times like this that makes me realize no matter where you’re from if you can share a common interest or passion then everything else will just fall into place.

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