written by Early Alpha mate, Richard Thomsom
June 20, 2017
Day 12 of the early Alpha program was a very exciting day because it was… Olympic Day! The day began with a much-coveted lie-in as everyone rose at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast. Everyone then shuttled to shore for a tour of the workshops and gallery of the renowned local artist Aragorn. He specializes in working with metal to create beautiful sculptures, wall-pieces, as well as re-using and shaping old mooring balls to create stunning fire-balls. The kids were totally enthralled.
We all returned to boats around 10:30a.m., and prepared to drop the ball. The students of our program completely took charge of this, as well as navigation and pilotage on the short journey from Trellis Bay to Long Bay. They were completely flawless throughout this — so much so that it was incredible to think that they had never met each other only two weeks previously!
After arriving, the students began to prepare lunch, and then settled down to complete a thorough clean of the whole boat. They worked really hard and were quick to help each other out with the cleaning, showing incredible maturity and dedication in completing this very important task. Their reward was to design our boat flag for the Olympics, complete with each of our signatures and a rather trendy design. The Olympics were enjoyed by all, but the crew of Attila were particularly taken by the occasion: performing a hilarious synchronized swim (complete with a back-flip) as well as turning their captain into an octopus sculpted from sand! The greatest highlight was undoubtedly Attila’s triumph in the Tug-of-War over all the other teams — quite a feat for the youngest boat!
Some chill-time on shore followed, ending with a beautiful BBQ on the beach which was much enjoyed by all. We returned to the boat around 7:00p.m. to shower and then undertake the end-of-program crew test, which everybody ended up passing! The day ended with all of the students sitting down to write letters to themselves in which they can write goals and aspirations for the next few months. Everyone was in particularly high spirits as the time came to power-down, ready for their final full day in the BVI!
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.