Foxtrot 1 & Sierra 1 2015 – Day 14

written by Marine Science Intern, Grace McKenna

Trellis Bay to Diamond Cay via Sandy Cay

Today was Soxtrot’s challenge day! On challenge day, the captains and mates step back and allow the students to run the boat, applying all they’ve learned so far in the program to run the day from start to finish. Alejandro was skipper of the day on Spyglass while Nico was his mate. On Miss You, Marley was skipper of the day with Paige as her mate. All four of the appointed leaders for the day showed up on staff boat early in the morning to get the schedule for the day. After a quick breakfast, both boats dropped the ball at Trellis and set sail for the day!

The first destination of the day was Sandy Cay, a gorgeous little island where some of Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed! Both boats made excellent time sailing downwind. Mayra and Matt aided in navigation on Spyglass, and although they began the sail a little off course, through teamwork the students managed to find the way and reach the destination on time! Meanwhile on Miss You, Reese and Vin helped their skipper Marley head the right direction. Both boats successfully raised all sails, independent of any major aid from their staff members.

The students picked up a mooring ball at Sandy Cay, working together to make sure they stuck to the day’s schedule. Julie and Eric prepped an easy but delicious lunch of hoagies on Miss You, and Liam and David prepared the same lunch on Spyglass.  Then the students swam ashore for a relaxing afternoon on the beach. Alejandro, Dylan, David, Matt, and Liam kicked around a soccer ball while Emily, Kayla, Paul, and Aidan cooled off in the crystal blue water. Everybody went for a hike along the island, lead by Nico and Paige, where they saw lots of lizards, and some gorgeous views of Tortola and Jost Van Dyke.

The final destination of the evening was Diamond Cay on Jost Van Dyke, a fantastic site for turtle tagging. In the late afternoon, Foxtrot and Sierra students had a lesson on sea grass beds and their ecological importance, taught by Liz and Grace. The Foxtrot students then did an hour of community service turtle tagging before beginning dinner prep, although the turtles were few and far between by that late in the afternoon. Finally, Challenge day concluded with boat showers, dinner prep, and a dinner of pasta carbonara, cooked by Mayra and Emily on Spyglass and Dylan and Julie on Miss You. Everyone settled in for the night after a successful challenge day!

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