Written by Henry Joslin-Davis
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Today, we woke up on docks at Hodges Creek. We were thankful to be in the beautiful BVI and not in the airport anymore! The morning of departure from Hodges is always quite busy due to a long to-do list. Students enjoyed a breakfast buffet on their boats and then began rotating through the dive shop. They were fitted with a mask and fins for snorkeling, and had the opportunity to buy any gear for diving that they would need. We took group pictures of each boat, making sure we got everyone’s best angle! The captain of each crew went through the “prior to first” checklist, going over everything that has to be sorted or checked before departure. Students got to learn about parts of the boat, and formulated a dedocking plan. The skippers of the day took the helm (with the guidance of seasoned staff) and pulled away from the docks! The sail to The Bight on Norman Island was super cool. We learned the basics of unfurling and furling the jib, and down-wind sailing maneuvers. Grilled cheese sandwiches were arranged and gobbled, in that order.
As The Bight came into view, we had a lesson on picking up the mooring ball. Lunch was prepared and demolished as each boat was successfully moored, and then all boats went ashore for an afternoon of hanging on the beach. There were watersports, frisbee, and beach balls. Some of our students had their first Open Water lesson including written knowledge, becoming familiar with the dive gear, and a swim test. Our other divers (Advanced Open Water and Fun) enjoyed a gorgeous visit to Angel Fish Reef.
Overall, it was a great and social afternoon! Everyone went back to boats for “boat showers,” jumping in the water, climbing out and sudsing up, jumping back in again, then finishing with a bit of fresh water for our ears. It is always fun with the tunes pumping. Another excuse to jump in the Caribbean Sea! For dinner, we had burrito bowls. They hit the spot after a very busy day. Then, everyone got to work and helped make the boat clean and habitable. We put everything where it belonged and washed away the sand and salt. Finally, we ended the day with a boat meeting where we got to learn more about my boat mates.