written by Early Alpha mate, Emily Graf
June 12, 2017
Today, we woke up to a delicious hot breakfast of western style eggs. We scarfed our breakfasts down because we were excited to get diving and snorkeling! The divers headed to shore after breakfast to work on the PADI confined water dives 3 and 4. After doing our confined water dives right off the shallow beach at Norman Island, we got on the dive boat and headed out to do our first open water dive! We were so excited to get to a reef and see lots of fish. We even saw a sting ray!
Back at fleet, the snorkelers received an amazing lesson on corals of the Caribbean by Foxtrot and Sierra Captain Rowsey. After the lesson, they headed over to a snorkel site called the Caves right outside of the Pirates’ Bight. They snorkeled inside the interesting caves and saw some neat examples of the corals they just learned about. We even stalked a HUGE lobster for a bit that decided to grace us with its presence.
After our morning activities, we all met up for lunch of Greek pita sandwiches. Then the divers headed back to the dive boat to do their second open water dive. We all loved diving right off the dive boats! Our giant stride techniques are all so on point! On the second dive, we saw lots of turtles and had heavy practice on the skills we have been learning during our confined skills sessions.
Our non-divers spent the afternoon enjoying Sail Caribbean’s very own 26′ keelboat, affectionately named Opal Bella. The sun was shining and the sail was gorgeous. After the sail, we hung out on the beach for a good splash at the Pirates Bight on Norman Island where, *side note*, pirates used to have a strong hold of the Virgin Islands. We played volleyball, swam around, and had fun hanging out on the white sandy beach.
Once the afternoon activities were done, we all met up again to shower and cook dinner. We were very excited to sit down and have a nice meal altogether and relax after a long day on the water. Everyone was so tired we fell asleep early dreaming about finishing our Open Water courses and our upwind sail for the next day.
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.