written by Early Alpha mate, Erika Florian
June 16, 2017
Today was both exciting and relaxing for all of the students. We spent the entire day at Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, and they couldn’t talk enough about how fun today was. We started off the day with some pancakes on the boat, and then headed to shore for a nice hike to get a little exercise and exploration. Then, all of the students were free to sign up for rotations of activities from 11a.m. to 3p.m., or given the opportunity to relax on the beach or head to the shops for some souvenir searching. Most took the chance to jam pack their day with action, either hopping on a Hobie Cat or Getaway for an hour, or trying their hand at different waters-porting exploits. As 3p.m. near, we prepared ourselves for a fleet-wide volleyball tournament — campers versus staff! A few statements follow from some of our campers during their boat meeting about their favorite parts of their Bitter End day.
“We loved sailing the Hobie Cats, which are basically small racing catamarans.” “I loved sailing with my brother on the Hobies too!” “I had loads of fun on Poparazzi, which is a tube that gets pulled behind one of our RIBs and spins around.” “I loved hanging out and relaxing at the beach with all of my new boat friends I just met” “I loved the chocolate milkshakes.” “I loved laying in the hammock under the palm trees. “I liked eating pickles for the first time and playing volleyball.”
When we got back to the boat, we all took showers and Graf, one of our Early Alpha mates, brought along a bunch of floaties for us to hang around in in the water! We hung out on them off the back of our boat until dinner started. One of our students had a very selfless act worth noting today; We were all making friendship bracelets before boat meeting and she offered to make a snack for the boat of apples, bananas, and peanut butter. It’s been a humbling experience seeing the campers more comfortable with doing their chores and having a group care mentality.
We did a Rose-Bud-Thorn to end the night and all made daisy chain boat bracelets with some blue parachord. All of the campers were keen on saying they had an amazing day at Bitter End and are all super excited to head to Anegada tomorrow!
Photos by Richard Thomsom
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.