Written by Henry Joslin-Davis and Melissa Pollard
Edited by Meredith Evridge
Once the kids woke up from their deep slumber by the gentle rocking of the boat, they stowed away their pillows and and sleeping bags and slowly made it to the cockpit, awaiting breakfast that would fuel them for the full day of events ahead. Luckily, there wasn’t any rain last night, so everyone on board got a great night’s sleep! Breakfast this morning was buffet style with yogurts, cereal, bagels and lots of cream cheese. The Open Water students were eager to head ashore this morning as they were only a few lessons away from being certified! They had a full morning of lessons and blowing tank bubbles. As for the rest of the crew, they took in the morning breeze, jumping in the water beat the sun’s hot morning rays. Others hung out and read for a few moments, or finished up some friendship bracelets. Around 9:15, we went ashore for a lesson about the effects of pollution on our oceans and beautiful beaches. Our Foxtrot and Sierra programs also had a lesson on turtles and research. Following the lesson on pollution, the kids immediately implemented what they had learned by going on a beach clean around the shore of Cooper Island. We found an old dinghy, some suspicious metal planks, and other things that didn’t belong on the shore, before heading back to boats for lunch. By this time, our divers had joined us again.
We had a delicious lunch of macaroni and cheese with broccoli (plus hot sauce if you’re brave!). Running through the predeparture checks, we were ready to leave. By this time, the campers had picked up and dropped mooring balls a few times and knew the maneuver pretty well, so they were able to execute it perfectly. Exiting the mooring field, we raised the sails so that we could start making our way to Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola. On the sail, we reviewed sail raising, downwind sailing, and jibing. The sail to Nanny was a long but relaxed one, allowing campers to practice their tacks and rotate positions. Everyone got a chance to be on the working and lazy jib sheet. The campers were taught proper winch safety, like always having your pinkies first, checking the spinlock before ever taking off safety wraps, and always making sure to put the line through the teeth when necessary. All of these lessons are done to prevent any winch mishaps while underway.We also introduced a docking lesson as Nanny Cay was our first docking on program! The entire fleet docked so smoothly, with every crew member focused on their individual jobs.
Once at Nanny Cay Marina, the campers ate the lunch that they prepared while sailing, then banded together for a massive boat deep clean. All boats passed their cleaning inspection. Being on docks brings an important factor…phones and WiFi! The campers were very excited to call home and check up on that Instagram for the limited amount of time they had with their phones. After phones were handed back in, campers were allotted some time to check out the shops at Nanny. There was a small grocery store, some clothing shops, and a cafe. After phone and shops time, there was another treat: freshwater showers in AC!!! With the whole marina needing to use these showers, we made our rotations efficient. Who wouldn’t be in a great mood after ten luxurious minutes in AC?
Dinner prep and shower rotations began. The showers at Nanny are really nice, and honestly are one of the best parts of being on docks. A full, freshwater shower was a welcomed change from boat showers! As each group had their turn, our motley crew of salty campers transformed into clean, fresh teenagers! The dinner prep duo on each boat cooked up mouthwatering chicken stir fry for the boat, which was a fan favorite. We finished up the day with some socializing on docks with the other boats, enjoying comparing and contrasting our living spaces. Finally, our daily boat meetings were held, reflecting on the day and having a couple more laughs before passing out under the stars.
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.