written by Early Alpha mate, Richard Thomsom
June 11, 2017
Day 3 began with a beautiful sunrise at Cooper Island to help the crew of Attila out of bed around 7a.m. We were sharp in switching on early to get us ready for a quick breakfast, and were all ready and cleaned up by 7:40a.m. The Open Water divers were then ferried to shore to continue lessons for their certifications. Meanwhile, the non-divers made their way to Cistern Rock for a beautiful snorkel, where they saw a turtle as well as a small group of little squids! For many, this was a real highlight of the day.
At 10a.m., the snorkelers returned to the boat for a snack to help them refuel, and then returned to shore for some fun on the stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. Meanwhile, a small portion of the staff and some interested students were put through their paces on a fun and intense bootcamp workout, led by Provisions Manager (and all around fitness guru), Addie. We then headed back to the boat at noon to begin preparing lunch for the divers’ return. The wonderful pesto pasta that was prepared was a great surprise for the divers, who were now looking forward to putting their feet up after a busy morning. As lunch was cleaned, the skipper and mate of the day helped carry out the necessary engine checks, allowing us to drop the mooring ball around 2p.m.
The sail for the day took us from Cooper Island to the “Pirates’ Bight”. This was a three-hour sail with a favorable wind behind us, which allowed the students to learn about downwind sailing. We reviewed winch safety and introduced controlled gybing. Accompanied by a playlist from “Guardians of the Galaxy”, this was a wonderful opportunity for some well-deserved relaxation time after all the exercise and excitement of the morning. Despite approaching an extremely busy mooring field in the Bight, the crew were able to pick up the mooring ball on their first attempt- a testament to the teams’ growing communication and collaboration skills.
This led on to the much-revered and much-needed shower time to clean up at the end of a warm day. The dinner crew showered first to allow them to prepare a scrumptious burrito dinner, while two of the campers began a quick drawing lesson as the sun set.
After dinner and a boat meeting, they made their way to shower to meet and mingle with the other students from the fleet. The crew of Attila are very tight knit and enjoyed each other’s company for much of the night, but also got to meet some of the other campers. They returned to Attila and began settling down for a night afloat, during which some hammocks also made their first appearance!
A side note from the Social Media Coordinator: In getting to know Early Alpha mate Richard, I’ve learned of and admire his other (non-aquatic) interests which include painting, photography and architecture. This led me to learn of his blog which broadcasts his personal sketch drawings, most notably since being on program with us! Check out his incredibly beautiful pieces and blurbs: http://www.thomson-art-architecture.com/thesketchdiaries/
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.