July 18, 2016
Everyone hit the ground today running! With over 70 kids on docks, it was a very busy day getting everything done that had to be done before we could leave the marina. We started rotations to get each program into the Sail Caribbean dive shop, learn about life aboard a boat, and sit down for a lesson on de-docking. All of our divers got their photos taken and their paper work squared away so they could go diving later today! The final provisions arrived as boats made their de-docking plans and prepared to head out. Once everything was on board, we struck our lines one boat at a time and set sail for Cooper Island as a mega fleet.
Both the crews and the staff members were super excited to get off the hot docks and head out towards their first destination! It didn’t take very long to reach Cooper island, but it feels like a world away from everything compared to docks. Spyglass saw a turtle immediately upon entering the mooring field! It was the resident favorite turtle with a hump on its back. Everyone is crazy excited to get in the water and look for turtles! After a flawless mooring ball pick up, the crew wasted no time jumping into the crystal blue water. We completed a swim test and then had a bit of time to just relax and enjoy the sun and water. We have several floaties on fleet and everyone took advantage of our spare time by relaxing in the floaties.
All of our Advanced Open Water, Open Water and previously certified divers went diving this afternoon. Non-divers got to head to shore on Cooper island for some beach time, Opal Bella sailing, stand up paddle boarding and beach games. The smoothies and ice cream at the coffee shop are always a welcome reprieve from the heat. The divers got back shortly before dinner and greeted their other crew members almost at a run to tell them all they had seen. One group of divers saw several sharks, a lion fish and an octopus!
Dinner tonight was chicken fajitas, graciously prepared by two crew members on each boat. There was plenty of food and everyone really enjoyed going back for seconds. We were all stuffed! After dinner and dinner clean, we had our boat meetings. We played some games to get to know each other as well as the game heads up. There were a lot of laughs! There was definitely a lot of bonding and the beginnings of friendships being made today which was amazing to see!
We settled in for bed relatively early, looking forward to sleeping with a cool breeze.
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.