July 30, 2016
This is it. Today is the day. The staff members donned their Hawaiian shirts and bucket hats and prepared themselves for Challenge day! Today, the kids take complete responsibility for the boat. They are in charge of crafting and keeping the schedule, taking care of cleanliness on the boat, navigating to our destination and sailing there safely. Our students got breakfast going right on time, let the staff sleep in a bit and woke them up with tea ready. We went turtling in the morning at Dead Man’s Bay. We didn’t catch any, but we pursued two for quite some time. Eventually, they just went too far out and too deep for us to reach. After turtling, Foxtrot went wake boarding and Sierra did a plankton lesson followed by a plankton tow.
The kids got lunch ready and made a plan to up anchor. The up anchoring went so smoothly! Everyone was communicating effectively and working together amazingly.
There were plenty of challenges during the sail. The kids had to put a reef in the sail because of strong gusts. There were a few passing rain squalls and it was difficult to hold a course traveling downwind. All in all, everyone did fantastic! We really learned what we need to work on and were able to see how well we know certain parts of our curriculum. We all picked up mooring balls at Soper’s Hole perfectly – the kids are basically experts at mooring ball pick ups at this point.
When we got on the ball, one of the students from Spyglass prepared a lesson about sharks and gave it to all of the boats on our fleet. It was awesome! There was also a birthday on Spyglass, so the staff members made a cake to celebrate. Since all the kids were on Spyglass, we decided to have a cannon ball contest. The kids got very creative and had a really great time. We all hung out together until close to dinner time. The kids were pretty good at sticking to the schedule and the dinner they cooked was fantastic. After dinner, we had a boat meeting to discuss how the day went and areas for improvement. It was a jam packed day but we all learned a lot.
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.