July 24, 2016
The day started very early with a wake up time of a little before 7 a.m. We had a long sail ahead of us from Long Bay to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda! Mates swapped boats so the kids could have the chance to interact and sail with more staff members from the fleet. The sail was fantastic! The wind was great – it was strong and consistent – and we were all cruising right along. A hat fell victim to the brilliant wind and went overboard on Moselle and was not able to be retrieved despite a valiant effort by the captain and crew. The crew executed some pretty skillful tacks to get us to our destination. We hit a heavy rainstorm as we approached the North Sound. Some kids went inside to avoid the rain, but some weathered the storm with the staff and laughed most of the way through.
When we got to Bitter End, we did a silent mooring ball pick up to challenge everyone! It looked very similar to charges. The pick up couldn’t have gone better! The silent communication was amazing and the student skipper of the day was in control the whole time. Following our arrival, we shuttled everyone to shore. All of the kids went to the pub to get lunch and enjoy it at the open air tables. All agreed it was really nice to enjoy a meal that we didn’t have to prepare or clean up afterwards.
Activity rotations started after lunch. Kids were relaxing on the beach and in hammocks, some went tubing, some played volleyball, and a bunch of kids went small boat sailing on Hobie cats and 420’s. Bitter End day is always a jam packed day in the best way. There are so many things to do and the whole mega fleet gets together to hang out.
Everyone went back to boats around 5 p.m. Showers and dinner prep started right away. Everyone’s energy level was pretty low after such a full day, but spirits were at a high. Several kids mentioned that this kind of relaxed day was just what they felt they needed. After dinner, cleaning and boat meeting, we all made our way to bed.
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.