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Early Alpha, Charlie, Foxtrot and Sierra, Day 5: Diving, Thriving and Snorkeling in The Bight

By wpdev June 14, 2019
Written by Tess Avery
Edited by Meredith Evridge

A 7:15 wakeup call went out to the fleet. The half asleep campers wiggled into their places around the tables. The day started out with a classic brecky buffet. Many bagels were eaten, as well as cereal and oatmeal. After some slurping and munching, followed by breakfast clean-up, our divers prepared for their morning out. After the obligatory layers of sunscreen and bug spray were applied, and sips of water were taken in, those with their FUN divers, Open Water, and Rescue climbed in dinghies with their packed lunches and extra set of clothes and were ferried off to the dive boats. Our Open Water divers were especially excited to be continuing their confined skills as well as do their first dive in open water! All remaining students were divided between two boats, Poms D’oh and Farallo, to pick up the mooring ball and head to our next destination, The Bight on Norman Island. They had a lovely downwind sail with the skipper delegating positions for a broad reach and the next mooring pickup. By noon, all boats were on the ball and the skippers of the day graciously allowed all crewmembers to take off their life jackets. They were placed on the lifelines and lunch prep began. Mac n’ cheese and broccoli were prepared with care and served just as the Fun and Rescue divers returned from their exciting morning. They settled in with everyone else to hear how that morning’s sail went.

By two o’clock, they headed to Farallo and Gingembre, ready to motor over to the Indians Islands just a short sail away. Positions were assigned to drop the mooring ball and pick up the one off of Indians, and everyone was in good spirits. Once we arrived, snorkel gear was put on and we swam over to the truly memorable snorkel site, with vibrant coral and some of us even spotting a baby Hawksbill turtle! We crowded around, amazed by this tiny creature, until our marine bio staffmember reminded us that turtles need space to come up to the surface. So we said farewell and swam along. Heading back to Farallo and Gingembre for the short sail back to The Bight, we enjoyed sitting in the “Day Club,” the affectionately nicknamed bow, suntanning and making bracelets. Once we were moored, everyone returned to their home boats to begin their deep clean for tomorrow’s boat inspections. The rest of the divers returned from their long day down under, and it was all hands on deck for sloppy joes and a short lesson on navigation. Students learned how to use a parallel ruler and plot a course. After absorbing all of the above, the students went off to bed for a well needed night’s sleep.


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.