written by Foxtrot and Sierra mate, Kyra Benforte
June 25, 2017
Today, Foxtrot and Sierra students woke up to the sights, sounds and sea smells of Hodges Creek Marina. Our first crew-prepared meal of the trip was a tasty breakfast buffet with loads of bagels, spreads, yogurts, fruits, and cereals to fuel us for the eventful morning. Our morning was full of getting familiar with our home boats, checking in with Sail Caribbean Divers, and learning how to de-dock our boats so we could finally head out to sea.
Our two program boats, Hully Gully and Paso Doble successfully left Hodges for the journey to Cooper Island by 11a.m. Underway, we learned how to raise our sails, basic navigation skills and how to moor our boat in a mooring field. Once arrived at Cooper, we all headed to shore for a few different activities. The divers in our fleet started their Open Water and Discover Scuba sessions while non-divers went swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and sea kayaking among new friends. Students also had a chance to explore the small beach club, snack on ice cream or smoothies at the island’s coffee shop.
After everyone had finished, the fleet headed back to their boats for showers and dinner prep. Some students, who were even first time cooks (!) made a dinner of delicious steak fajitas for their boats. The meal was fabulous; the only thing to beat it was maybe the sunset that it was enjoyed alongside of.
When the meal was over, the crew worked together to tidy up their home boats and have time to digest everything they accomplished during the day. Our boats had their first at sea boat meeting in which they got to know their crew members even better and share their favorite parts of the day.
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.