Brought to you by the crew of Montlouis
June 11, 2016
Day 2, the first real day of program, began early on Montlouis as the students awoke and started breakfast prep. Grant and Grace grabbed out bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, and cereal, and everyone filled up on a delicious breakfast buffet. After a quick stop at the dive shop to prepare for their scuba adventures, the students gathered aboard Montlouis for their Prior to First lesson. This lesson starts off every Sail Caribbean adventure, and the students learn all the basics they need to successfully start a sail.
We prepared to dedock with a lesson from our captain, Curtis. Grant was the skipper of the day, and so he steered from the helm while leading his crew through a successful dedocking. We got our sails up almost as soon as we got into the channel. After a quick sail-raising lesson from our mate, Grace, we raised the main sail. Grant steered us head-to-wind with the help of Alex, the wind spotter. Maggie and Georgia hauled in the halyard while Lizzie and Ben were the halyard “monkeys” up at the mast, and together, our crew raised the main, and shortly thereafter, we furled the jib. That put us on a fast point of sail to Manchoniel Bay on Cooper Island, our destination for the evening. Cooper Island Beach Club is a family owned eco-resort on the sandy shores of Manchioneel Bay which strives to be as environmentally responsible as possible. You can read more about their green initiatives which aim to preserve the British Virgin Islands for future generations here!
We had a smooth first mooring ball pick-up, with Carson spotting the mooring ball, Ben hooking it, and Maddie threading the line through the ball. Once we were secured, everyone was thrilled to jump into the clear blue water. Carson and Nathan prepared hoagies for lunch for everybody. Then we all headed to shore! While the Discover Scuba Dive students started their dive experience and Open Water students did knowledge reviews, Grant and Lizzie hung out onshore to paddle board and grab some ice cream. Everyone had a little time to relax on the beach in the afternoon. The Basic Keelboat students, Maddie, Maggie, and Grant, got to spend some time in the evening on Opal Bella, Sail Caribbean’s 26’ keelboat, and had a blast spending some more time on their sailing skills. Alex and Daniel were on dinner prep for the evening, and they whipped up some delicious burritos for the crew.
After dinner, Maggie and Maddie cleaned up the galley and left it sparkling. We all played a rousing game of UNO, solidly won by Daniel. Finally, we ended the night with a boat meeting, in which we played two truths and a lie and learned hilarious facts about each other. We wrote our first ship’s log entry together as a crew, and headed to bed. All in all, a smooth and fun-packed first day aboard Montlouis!
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.