written by Early Foxtrot & Early Sierra mate, Paul McCormack
June 19, 2017
Day eleven brought the most awaited challenge day, where all of the students took full responsibility for the whole plethora of daily jobs and tasks that it took to run a day on program — they were to fully run their ship! The day started with a leadership meeting where the skipper, mate, and navigator of the day all received the schedule for the day from our Program Director and all pertinent information about the logistics of the day. Students would have to drive dinghies under the supervision of their staff to transport divers to their dive boat pick up and execute different tasks that needed to be carried out in the day like a snorkel at Kodiak Queen followed by watersporting. Our day’s sail started with an up anchoring at Mountain Point that was followed by a downwind sail on this gusty morning.
Navigators worked hard to keep the boat on its course while all of the crew came together to make sure the boat was safely making its way to Trellis Bay. During the sail, the students had to raise and lower sails, trim sails to wind direction, gybe, pick up a mooring ball and navigate safely with little to no help from the captain, plus the crews were allowed only three questions for the day!
All the boats arrived successfully and in style (!) to their new destination of Trellis Bay on Beef Island. Jobs that from time to time go forgotten during they day like cleaning and cooking were remembered by all boats to their captain’s delight showing how far the students have come in these few short weeks.
The day ended with a student debrief on how they lead the day and each individual crew member’s thoughts on how the day went. This was followed by a full tea debrief from the staff notifying students with some things they still need a little improvement on and also all the things they did well as it is a great accomplishment! With tired faces after a long day filled with new experiences and learning, an early night was had by all.
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.