written by Early Alpha mate, Emily Graf
June 21, 2017
Today was a much needed sleep in for the students…. however, not for the staff. The captain and mates for each program woke up well before 6a.m. to start the sunrise motor from Long Bay to the beautiful Baths on Virgin Gorda. Once arriving at the Baths, the students awoke to a delicious breakfast of cinnamon rolls and fruit. Unfortunately, the purple flag was flying on the beach, notifying us of stingers in the water, so snorkeling was out of the question but we were still able to dinghy to shore for a beautiful hike (or hikel as we like to say due to the lack of strenuous hiking). The hike lead us up through the sandy forest and eventually wound down to the big granite boulders of the Baths. Over, under and though the boulders, over boardwalks and up and down manmade wooden stairs, we followed the trails, stopping for photographs, paddles in the small pools and to listen to the acoustic created by air pockets in the rocks.
Once we finished, the hike we headed back to boats for lunch, cleaning and one final dance party. After lunch, it was time for the final sail back across the Sir Francis Drake channel to Hodges Creek Marina. Everyone who wanted to skipper was given a final opportunity to practice gybing and tacking while we waited for a slip at Hodges Creek Marina. As we headed in, skippers were given the final challenge of docking their 50ft monohull, all successfully of course!
Once docked, and given time to call home, we set about planning our skits for the night’s presentation and awards ceremony. Each boat performed a hilarious skit about their two week experience at Sail Caribbean, with some quality imitations of some of the staff members. We then presented boat awards and acknowledged all the diving, sailing and various activity achievements of the students on the program. Before long, we headed back to our boat for our final boat meeting and the beginning of goodbyes although we had a day of traveling back to “real life” together the next morning. What a fantastic end to an amazing two weeks.
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.