August 5, 2016
The day began at sunrise with a staff motor over from Long Bay to the Baths on Virgin Gorda! We were welcomed to Virgin Gorda by a heavy rainstorm. The kids were all snuggled up still asleep inside while the staff donned masks and snorkels and charged into the mooring field. Once we got to the Baths, we woke the crew up and prepared a delicious breakfast complete with cinnamon buns. We all decided to get the boat deep clean out of the way early while it was still cool out. Everyone really pitched in and got the boats clean in no time at all.
A little rain and a gray sky couldn’t stop the fun on our last full day of program! Everyone grabbed their masks, fins, snorkels and cameras and jumped into the water to swim to shore. When we got to shore, we all got a quick lesson in Caribbean geology. The rocks at the Baths are beautiful and different from the rest of the BVI, so we explained how all the islands formed and why this spot is so unique.
After our lesson, we went on a hike through the rock formations to Devil’s Bay. We spent some time swimming around the bay and taking loads of photos. Most people snorkeled back (some hiked) to where we had started and where we set up our Jump Rock! Students took turns jumping off the rock and taking pictures of each other’s tricks. We swam back to boats right before lunch time and prepared to depart. We all made our way back to Hodges Creek.
When we got to the marina the students did a final quick clean of the boat, finished up all their airplane letters and got their cell phones back to check in with home. We were all on docks together so all of the boats of our mega fleet got to hang out with each other until dinner time. Dinner was a very hearty helping of ribs, Mac and cheese and veggies.
After dinner, we had some time to come up with skits to present to the mega-fleet. At the awards portion of the night, everyone who got a diving or sailing certification (and there were a lot of them!!) got acknowledged and congratulated. The students went up boat by boat and performed their skits for everyone. They were absolutely hysterical. We were very proud of and amused by what our campers came up with. The staff got to present as well! We sang a rendition of Wagon Wheel with lyrics that were related to Sail Caribbean. The kids really seemed to enjoy it. After skits, the Sierra students got to present their hard work. They had made PowerPoint presentations of the research they had done over the last three weeks. The projects came out great!
When skits and presentations were over, the kids went around to all the boats and exchanged information, took selfies, said the first round of goodbyes and just generally enjoyed each other’s company. Everyone was back to their home boats by midnight and a final bonding session commenced. Very little sleep is ever had on this last night, but in a great way! Everyone eventually drifted off to sleep, ready to start the journey home the next morning but not very excited to leave their new friends.
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.