written by Provisions Manager, Kathryn “KB” Broderick
August 2, 2015
Long Bay to Hodges Creek Marina via the Baths
This morning was an early wake up for the staff. They up-anchored at 6a.m. from Long Bay and motored over to the famous Baths, Virgin Gorda, so the students could wake up in a new location. The students made pancakes for breakfast, filled with chocolate chips and lathered in syrup.
At 10a.m., all crews swam to shore for a lesson about the formation of the Baths. After the lesson, we went on the walk through the caves, taking loads of photos and selfies! The rock formations were amazing and it was so much fun walking though the maze of high rocks. At the end of the trail was Devils Bay, a beautiful beach with white sand and crystal clear waters. We then snorkeled back along the Baths and along the reef, observing cool fish. It was fun for the students to be able to identify all the fish after three weeks of Fish Identification lessons. Everyone was helping each other find sea-slugs and sea-hairs along with flounders.
After the final snorkel of program, the staff had set up Jump Rock, which is a rock with a line attached for students to climb up and jump off. Everyone jumped off multiple times, trying to get the biggest splash. It was awesome!
After jumping in the water for about an hour, we all returned to the boats, ready for food! It was the last day of program, so the crew could choose to eat anything on the boat. Some had pasta, while others had pizza quesadillas. After lunch, it was time for a final swim in the Caribbean waters before we headed back to Hodges, our home marina. Everyone was reluctant to get out of the water but eventually the boats were on their final sail back to base.
Once back at Hodges, students sat down to take their crew, bosun and mate tests. A little while after, it was dinner time, which were curried rotis. They were delicious! At 8p.m., it was time for awards! Oliver, the Program Director, led an awards ceremony celebrating the students success’s over the program, which included the divers getting open water, advanced and specialties and all students obtaining their crew level at sailing, with some even getting their bosun and mate!
The Sierra program gave presentations on the projects they had been working on throughout the three weeks, which included one on coral bleaching, one on water quality and another on fish abundance and diversity. They were all extremely interesting and well presented. After awards, it was time to pack, write plane letters, letters to self and hang out with all the fleet for one last night together!
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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.