written by Foxtrot/Sierra captain, Liz Deveau
August 8, 2017
The day dawned with a tint of gray leftover in the sky, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit! We enjoyed breakfast and carried out the day as normal. The divers met with the Sail Caribbean Divers dive instructors and presented their eLearning or certification cards if they were already certified. Every crew member received a detailed prior-to-first sail lesson where they all learned about the boats they are about to start living on. They learned all about safety onboard, important parts of the vessel, and how each of the various mechanisms above and below decks functioned.
The skies started to brighten and look like the Caribbean we all know and love again by the late morning. The crew learned how to de dock their big boat and by the time we were throwing lines, the sun was out in full force. We got off the dock and into the welcoming cool breeze just in time. We made our way over to Cooper Island our jibs out.
Once we got to Cooper, we immediately jumped into the water for a swim test. The water was cool and clear like always. We were greeted by the resident sea turtles of that area which was really exciting for everyone to see. After our swim test and a little bit of swimming around, we started to make our way to shore. The students that are going for their Open Water certification set out with the divers while everyone else had a beach day! We played on stand up paddle boards and kayaks. Some students ordered really cold smoothie drinks and took a look in the beach club’s gift shop.
After a few hours on the beach, we all went back to our home boats to get dinner preparation in motion. While dinner was being made, the rest of the crew jumped in the water or hung out on the bow chatting and getting to know each other better. Dinner was a delicious meal of teriyaki chicken stir fry.
After dinner, we all helped to clean the boat for the first time and the boat was absolutely spotless. We then had our first boat meeting out on the water and played two truths and a lie. There were some really cool truths in there! It was pretty late once we finished our games, so everyone set out their sleeping stuff and prepared for their first night sleeping on a boat off docks. The stars were out and the sky was clear. It was a perfect way to end the day.
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.