Foxtrot 1 & Sierra 1 2015 – Day 3

written by Program Director, Oliver Bierman-Lytle

Cooper Island Beach Club, Manchioneel Bay to The Pirate’s Bight, Norman Island

After the first night sleeping on a mooring ball, the students woke up with fresh eyes and began their day with ham and cheese scrambled eggs. The Open Water divers went ashore for their first day of confined water sessions, completing confined water 1 and 2. While they were learning to breathe underwater, the rest of the students enjoyed a RIB ride over to the neighboring island, Salt Island. Once all together, they set out on a hike, past the salt pools, which give the island its name, and up to a lookout where they could look out over the wreck of the R.M.S. Rhone, a world famous dive site. The students enjoyed being on land, watching Grace sink up to her knees in the mud of the salt ponds, and joining Robby and Matt for a run around the beach.

They returned to Miss You and were joined by the non-divers from the Alpha program for some lounging on the trampoline and jumping off of the high beams of the Catamaran. Dylan went his own way, jumping on Opal Bella, our smaller sailboat, with Alpha Captain Kevin and several Alpha students who are also Basic Keelboat applicants. Once the divers finished their sessions, we all returned to our boats for lunch before dropping the mooring balls and getting back out into the channel for our first down wind sail.

On board the Catamarans, the students learned about downwind sailing including jibing, how to raise and lower their mainsail, and points of sail. After two and a half hours of sailing back and forth across the channel from Cooper Island all the way back to the coast of Tortola, they finally arrived at Norman Island. Paige, aboard Miss You, was the skipper of the day and she commanded her boat to be first on the ball! The students began their showers, dinner preparation, and cleaning, followed by Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry, then we all headed to shore at the Bight for sodas and ice cream along with all of the Alpha students. We headed back to the boats after a fun social and night beach volleyball for boat meetings and a much needed night’s sleep.

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