Written and edited by Meredith Evridge
Waking up at Leverick, the breakfast tables were surrounded by 7:30. A breakfast buffet was set out on each boat, finished and cleaned in record time. The skipper of the day began to go through the pre-departure checklist. Hatches closed? Check! Engine inspected? Yes! Swimsuits off of the lifelines? You got it. As everything was sorted by the capable crew who knew what to do, the skipper took over the helm. Positions were assigned for dedocking and the engine rumbled to life.
One by one, the boats pulled away from the docks, the spotters pointing out things for the skipper to be aware of. Today was Long Bay Day….and we were racing there! Once we were free of the channel markers, our sails went up and we gathered at the starting line. This was between the staff boat and one of our smaller powerboats. A voice came through the VHF radio, counting down. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! And we were off. It was about eleven nautical miles to Long Bay. The skippers on each boat deftly navigated the sailing maneuvers including several jibes during this downwind sail. The fastest boat, Paso Doble, reached a maximum speed of 9.2 knots! They arrived at our destination a full fifteen minutes ahead of the other boats. Way to go, Paso!
As the last of the fleet cruised on in, lunch was had and we all dinghied to shore. It was time for the Olympics! The campers clustered by boat group for the three exciting events: a relay involving wearing fins and running around a fender five times before passing the fins off to the next person, a synchronized swim, and using a staff member of their choice to make sand art. They also had to have a story of how that staff member turned into whatever shape they became; a mermaid or a fossilized octopus (pictures below!). Everyone really pulled out their creative sides on all three events.
As the giggles and camaraderie continued, the staff pulled out stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, keelboats, and Picos (smaller vessels that fit two to three folks and have only a line for the mainsail and a rudder) which are quite good for refining skills on wind direction. Sunshine, sand and saltwater made for a blissful afternoon in Long Bay. The sun began to go down and dinner began to appear. We enjoyed a beach barbeque with burgers, franks, portobello mushrooms for the non meat lovers, and scrumptious sides. It was a jolly time for all!
After tummies were full, we ferried everyone back to their home boats for a boat meeting and an early power-down for the following morning, we’d be heading to the Baths!!
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.