Written by Grace G., Captain
Today was challenge day! This means that the students are responsible for fully running the boat. They are tasked with staying on schedule, completing pre-departure checks, cooking all meals and cleaning (which they have been doing a fantastic job at every day!), navigation, and sailing maneuvers. Campers have to use each other as a resource and work as a team, as they can only ask their staff members three questions throughout the entirety of the day. The crew successfully woke themselves up on time at Mountain Point to make breakfast and sent the Skipper, Navigator, and Mate to the Challenge Day briefing with Abby, our Fleet Captain. The crew then completed pre-departure checks and quickly up- anchored and set course for Anegada. This is the longest journey of the program and always a blast! The team successfully raised the mainsail, unfurled the jib, and navigated their way to Anegada. On the way, we passed through a flurry of flying fish, and got caught in a tropical rain shower.
Our crew moored successfully in 19 knot winds and looked over the lifelines to realize that we were sharing the mooring field with a few sea turtles and a pair of eagle rays! After enjoying the beautiful green Anegada water, all of Alpha headed to shore for truck tours of the island. Anegada is a completely flat, coral island, topographically different from the other volcanic Virgin Islands. At Cow Wreck Beach, we learned about our human impact on the environment and completed a trash pickup competition! On the rest of our truck adventure, students stopped off at a local shop, a flamingo lookout, and a shark nursery.
The group was lucky enough to spot three sharks! Everyone then returned to boats in time for an ocean shower and dinner prep.
Today was hot dogs and mac n cheese! Boats then completed their nightly boat clean. Then, the kids on Malia headed to Vesper for a pancake party! Finally, we had a challenge day debrief and discussed highs and lows during out second to last boat meeting.
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.