written by Foxtrot and Sierra mate, Paul McCormack
June 27, 2017
Day four started anchored in the beautiful Manchioneel Bay at Cooper Island. We started off with a breakfast of champions fueling us all for a big day ahead. The Open Water divers shuttled to shore and continued working on much needed skills for their certification course that would soon be completed!
The rest of the group took part in various watersporting activities, a crowd favorite being wakeboarding and water skiing. The divers were finished with the skills and came back to fuel up once again with a spectacular lunch made by each boat’s crew.
After lunch, the Advanced Open Water divers went on a dive while the Open Water divers and non-divers prepared their boats for a downwind sail to the scenic Norman Island, where we would be mooring for the night. Fortunately, the mooring field was full of space so we had the best choice for the first night’s sleep at the Bight.
While sailing to the Bight, we refreshed ourselves on how to raise the main sail, and learned about parts of the sail, points of sailing and finally how to jibe a sailboat. We arrived safe and sound to our destination and awaited the Advanced Open Water divers’ return. As they arrived back, we prepared dinner of chicken fajitas which went down like a treat for all.
After dinner and boat clean, all the boats met on shore for a group social. The night consisted of refreshing smoothies and the witnessing of a small sting ray close to the shore as well as big barracudas and tarpon. Each boat later held a boat meeting on shore and talked about how everyone’s day was and what we were looking forward to tomorrow.
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.