written by Early Foxtrot & Early Sierra mate, Paul McCormack
June 11, 2017
The day started out following the first incredible sleep out under the crystal clear stars of the BVIs. Breakfast was made; bagels and cheerios went down as a treat and gave us the best start to our day. Shortly after, the Open Water divers left for the dive boat and started work on their confined water skills. Meanwhile, the non-divers went for a snorkel at Cistern Rock off of Cooper Island, followed by a kayaking and stand up paddle board session. At noon, the crew met back up on the boats for a beautiful pesto pasta lunch that fueled the crew for a big downwind sail from Cooper Island to the Bight on Norman Island.
Our skipper for the day gave us our orders for pre-departure checks and made sure the boat was in tip top shape before we set sail. At 2p.m., we dropped the mooring ball and raised our sails. The skipper was doing a great job of keeping the boat set into the wind with the help of the wind spotter’s guidance. With the crew on the main sheet trimming the sails and giving great motivation for the team, our sails were up and the skipper kept us on a great course for our final destination for the day.
While underway, lessons of downwind sailing, gybing and parts of sail were taught. Our crew was tasked with carrying out a skilled and sometimes difficult move of gybing the boat. Our first gybe gave the crew great confidence! From controlling the main sail through the turn to easing the lazy jib sheet, the crew showed great determination to pull in the working jib sheet. The crew completed a very impressive first gybe.
We then reached the Bight and dropped our sails. Everyone played a key role in a fast and effective drop and we were then led by the skipper for a flawless mooring ball pick up in an almost full mooring field. We showered and tied the secondary line to secure the boat on the mooring ball. Later, we were treated ourselves to a delicious chicken and broccoli pasta that satisfied the whole crew.
After dinner, we had our day’s boat meeting and heard how each member of the crew had parts they liked about the day and what they were excited about for tomorrow. We then headed to the beach for are first social ashore with all of the boats of different programs on the water currently getting a chance to meet up. We finished the day with another sleep on deck, reminiscing on all that we’ve covered so far together.
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.