June 27, 2016
The day started at a cool 7:00a.m. Breakfast was buffet style complete with fruit, cereal, yogurt, and plenty of bagels. Following breakfast, everyone participating in Open Water scuba certification as well as the Discover Scuba diving program went to shore to meet the Sail Caribbean dive boat at 8:15a.m. After the dive boat left, we loaded up our dinghies with a cold water cooler, Nalgenes, sunscreen, life jackets and eager campers to head to shore for our first beach day! Soxtrot (Sail Caribbean slang for the combination of our Sierra and Foxtrot programs) spent the day on the white sand beach of Cooper Island Beach Resort. We rented stand up paddle boards, wake boarded, went on our beloved water sporting tube Poparazzi and swam in the warm water. Several campers went sailing on Opal Bella, our Colgate 26 training sailboat. Dozens of delicious smoothies were thoroughly enjoyed; the sweet icy drink being a very welcome treat. Sierra students had a meeting to discuss their research project that will be completed on program. They all were really stoked about the coral coverage project and the water quality project!
When the divers returned from their adventure, everyone headed back to their home boats to prepare a lunch of very filling “pizzadillas.” During lunch, a lot of the students saw green sea turtles swimming around the Cooper morning field. One was very small and got his picture taken quite a few times when he surfaced. They already can’t wait to get back here to go turtling and we haven’t even left yet!
After lunch, the students going for their Advanced Open Water certification went to shore to meet the divers where they got to go on a deep water dive and a wreck dive! Everyone who wasn’t diving got to sail on a relaxing downwind sail from Cooper island to the Bight on Norman island. They leaned how to sail downwind effectively and how to jibe safely. Our fleet soared into the mooring field at the Bight and picked up mooring balls like budding professionals. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming until it was time to pick up our divers and start dinner prep. Dinner was a feast of chicken pasta Alfredo with sautéed zucchinis, mushrooms, and onions – absolutely delicious. After dinner and some boat clean, both boats of the Soxtrot fleet had a boat meeting with a lot of laughs and some relaxing tea. Everyone was pretty tired after such a full day in the sun and under the water, so we went to bed early, preparing for the next awesome day ahead.