Early Alpha, Early Charlie, Early Foxtrot, Early Sierra, Day 8: Cooper Island Beach Club Part II
Written By John DeBuysser
Today we woke up to a beautiful second day at Cooper Island. Every islands goats eagerly keen on upstaging the morning alarms of each vessel. Breakfast today varied from vessel to vessel as our Provisions Managers (PMs) ordered all food to be consumed since re-provisioning was arriving that afternoon! Loaded eggs, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt bowls made up some of the breakfast spreads. While eating their meal, some vessels also spotted some turtles surfacing for breath in the Cooper Island mooring field. You can’t get a breakfast view like that at home!
Once meals were consumed and dishes cleaned, those enrolled in scuba diving were dinghied ashore to continue their dive training, working towards their Open Water or Advanced Open Water training dives. High fives were exchanged as our dive staff welcomed their students back for another day of bubble-blowing! While the divers were underwater, the rest of the campers went for a hike up to the point of the Salt Island, learning about its history of salt production and the nearby wreck of the RMS Rhone.
We all met up for lunch on our home boats and swapped stories about the morning. The afternoon was a big water sports day, with tubing, waterskiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing on our brand new Hobie catamarans. Some students also took the 26’ Colgate boats to practice more sailing techniques! The Colgates are an excellent teaching tool to help show students how maneuvers translate from a smaller boats to the big ones. To wrap up shore time, students had the opportunity to snag some homemade ice cream or treats from the Cooper Island coffee shop and browse the shops.
When students returned to their floating homes for the evening, cheers rang through the mooring filed as they realized our local Santa Clauses’ (aka the PMs) and left heaps of re-provisioning aboard. The fridges, dry goods, snacks all restocked to the max! As always, we end the day with showers, dinner, boat meeting and a game to wrap up the evening.
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.