Foxtrot 1 & Sierra 1 2015 – Day 2

written by Program Director, Oliver Bierman-Lytle

Captain of the Day on I AM FREE: Matt

Navigator: Nico

Hodges Creek Marina to Cooper Island Beach Club, Manchioneel Bay

Our day began bright and early with a boat full of enthusiastic sailors eager to get out onto the open water. Breakfast consisted of toasted bagels and cream cheese. After a lengthy visit to the dive shop, where we perused the equipment, purchased watches, and filed our paper work along with getting our photos taken, we got basic instruction on the various aspects of life aboard a Sailing Catamaran, both above decks and below. Shortly after, I AM FREE was free of the dock and out on the open seas. We set a course for Cooper Island, and remained under motor due to a combination of inexperience, strong winds, and rough seas; It was our first chance to test out our sea legs.

After mooring in Manchioneel Bay, getting some food in our stomachs, and listening to a marine awareness talk from the staff, the students getting certified as Open Water Divers headed ashore for PADI instruction, while the rest went snorkeling at Cistern Point, where we found Parrotfish and Grouper. After our excursions, we returned to the Cat for dinner, where our appetites proved voracious; our first course was sloppy joes, which was quickly followed by Mac ‘n Cheese. At boat meeting, we played an informative game of two truths and a lie and our Captain, Alex, and the Marine Biology Intern, Grace, briefed us on the Sierra Marine Science projects we would be conducting over the next three weeks.

Today our Boat’s Miracle Moment was picking up the mooring ball and painter and securing the boat on the first attempt! A rather complicated maneuver on a Catamaran!

From the Program Directors eyes, Day 2 was a huge success! A student was at the helm of each boat and they de-docked the boats, under very windy conditions, superbly. All of the students and the staff were very excited to get off of docks and finally enjoy their first swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean!

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