written by mate, Meredith Davies
August 7, 2018
The sun rose early on Day 2 (well it rises early everyday here in the Caribbean!) and each student crew awoke with the sun, preparing themselves for a busy day at Hodges Creek Marina. First up, students rotated through the Sail Caribbean Divers’ dive shop where our scuba diving students had the opportunity to meet their dive instructors and to register for their individual courses if taking specialty courses. All students took advantage of some last minute purchases such as hammocks and hats before they got off docks and on the water. Next up, we took our family boat photo (much time was taken to get everyone’s good side 🙂 ), and then we proceeded to prepare our vessels to de-dock and then lines were cast and student skippers took to the helm.
First off the docks was mighty Moselle with a student skipper at the helm, who executed his yacht’s dedocking maneuver in a calm, cool and collected manner, going off without a hitch. Next up was Manao and the crew’s confidence ensued in the same style. Once all boats were safely de-docked, it was time to raise the sails and head for Cooper Island Beach Club which is directly across the Sir Francis Drake Channel from our home marina of Hodges Creek.
The sun was shining, the wind was a moderate 18 knots, everyone was smiling, and the ‘getting to know you’ questions continued during the sail. I would say that ‘life doesn’t get much better than this!’ After a brief mooring ball pick-up lesson, where everyone learned what the terms ‘hooker’, ‘threader’ and ‘spotter’ meant, the mighty Foxtrot and Sierra fleet attempted their first mooring ball pickups, executing this brilliantly and each vessel getting it on their first try!
Divers went diving; Open Water students trying their hand at an initial scuba gear set-up lesson and everyone else enjoyed a Marine Biology lesson on fish identification on Moselle. Shower demos began back on individual boats, followed by a delicious dinner of burritos and then boat meeting was held! The sun set on another beautiful day in the Caribbean and the tired student crews slowly settled in for their first night out on the water!
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.