Written and edited by Allie Faulkner
Today we awoke rested, as we got to sleep in a little, and ready to start our day at Trellis Bay. There were some people that were getting their project aware specialty for diving and went to shore extra early to get the briefing done before the dive. Once they returned we had a nice breakfast buffet with some eggs. Shortly after, our rescue divers took a rib ride to long bay where they would complete their confined water skills. Everyone else cleaned up breakfast and got ready to drop the ball.
While we were under sail, the winds were strong and steady so we put in a reef. It was an adventurous sail and we all had a great time! Underway we reviewed lessons, practiced the “man overboard” drill and had an in depth lesson on med-anchoring. We eventually made it to our destination of Little Harbor on Peter Island. We med-anchor here to prevent swinging and allow for more boats to be in the little bay.
Once we were secure on anchor, we had a lunch of yummy pizza bagels. We cleaned lunch, and then divers got ready to go on their dive for the afternoon. It was a great two tank dive that they saw lots of cool fish on!
While the divers were diving the rest of us got ready for different activities. The Charlie and Alpha students gathered to do watersports, the colgate and hang out on the boat. The Sierra and Foxtrot students got to go turtle tagging. Some of the students from YEP, came over and went turtle tagging with us. We were lucky and were able to catch a turtle again; this time he was a big old guy! He had already been tagged so we recorded data and were able to find out how much he’d grown and where all he had traveled since he had been originally tagged. The YEP students had a blast too getting to see what we do and help us collect data on the turtles.
After everyone returned to their home boats, the rescue divers went over to staff boat to work on their emergency action plans. Little did the rescue divers know, but they would have to be responding to a emergency scenario. We had staff and one student help to act like injured divers making our rescue divers respond to the scenario. We also worked with VISAR (Virgin Island Search and Rescue) to help make the scenario more real. VISAR uses these scenarios with us as training for them as well. It was a super cool experience for them to take action and show off all that they had been learning during the course.
While the rescue divers were responding to their scenario, the rest of the crew got dinner ready. We had a delicious dinner of pasta carbonara, enjoying every bite of it. After dinner clean, some of the divers went on a night dive. They saw lots of cool things, including an octopus!
Before boat meeting and while the divers were gone, some of the students got the opportunity to go night sailing on the colgate. They all had a blast, learned a lot and said they even saw bats!
Once the divers and colgate students were back and the boat was nice and clean, we had boat meeting on the bow. It was a quick and fun boat meeting. At the end of the night we all drifted off to sleep gazing up at the wide open, starry sky.
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.