August 2, 2016
We woke up at Diamond Cay on Jost Van Dyke ready to turtle! After breakfast, we started rotations in the water for turtling. While some kids were in the water searching the sea grass beds for turtles, others were enjoying some time laying out in the sun, relaxing or working on their Sierra projects. We turtled for 2 hours and even though we saw a couple of good sized turtles, we were unable to keep up with their speed or determination. The kids still had a great time swimming along side and above the turtles.
We dropped our mooring ball at Diamond and made our way to Sandy Cay. Sandy is a beautiful spot with a perfect beach, a small hike and great tide pools. It was super crowded when we got there but we managed to get the last mooring balls! Sierra had a lesson on invertebrates and created a “bio blitz” game to play in the tide pools. The team that identified the most species on invertebrates won, with a photo so staff members could confirm the ID. Once we got to shore some of the kids went straight on the little hike to the other side of the island, some played soccer on the beach and a bunch of kids ran over to explore the tide pools. We found chitons, anemones, sea slugs, crabs, hermit crabs and so much more. It was a ton of fun and staff got to “nerd out” about marine biology with the students for a long time.
A mini rain storm rolled in, but that didn’t stop any of the fun! We all stayed playing games in the water and on the beach. We swam back to boats and immediately dropped the ball to motor over to Little Harbor on Jost Van Dyke to go to Sidney’s Peace & Love Restaurant for dinner. Once we got on the ball over there, we all jumped in the water to shower and get ready for dinner.
The kids put on their best outfits and lined up at the transom to get shuttled to shore. The shops and the dinner here are very popular. Mega fleet was ashore, so we had every table at the restaurant reserved for us! Kids flooded the shops on the beach and bought all the tanks and hats they had seen staff wearing for the last few weeks. A whole bunch of kids got corn rows and beads in their hair before dinner. After dinner and a little bit of hang out time, we all went back to our home boats for boat meeting and power down.
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.