written by mate of I Am Free, Liz Deveau, Brought to you by the crew of I Am Free
August 9, 2015

The day started at 7:00a.m. with a big breakfast of French toast. Cam and Frankie made breakfast for the whole crew. Marshall volunteered to jump in the water and untie the bowlines that were cleated to our stern and tied to the dock to prevent us from swinging. Frankie was our skipper of the day and was at the helm while we took up the anchor and got on our way to Norman Island. The entire fleet pulled up anchor at 9:00a.m. to head to the Bight on Norman Island from Salt Island. Gillie was our navigator of the day. After a navigation lesson including reading charts and finding way points, Gillie found our destination on the chart and found our heading to report to the captain.

The sail to Norman from Salt is a downwind sail, so the students are gathered in the cockpit for a lesson on downwind sailing and jibing safely. Jack was very enthusiastic about sailing, so Frankie let him take over the helm with Curtis, our captain, for the sail to Norman. I Am Free is always ready to have a little casual karaoke going on while we’re on the boat, so Gillie put on a few dozen Taylor Swift songs and the entire crew sang along! We executed a couple of controlled jibes with both Jack and Frankie at the helm. Before we knew it, the trip was over and we were lowering sails to head into the mooring field of the Bight. Frankie took the helm again, and with Curtis at her side, she executed an excellent mooring ball pick up. I Am Free was the first boat on the ball at the Bight, with Spyglass and Miss You very close behind.

We had a bit of free time before Marshall and Ben started lunch prep, so we pulled out our marine biology coloring books and all colored photos of fish or different marine ecosystems. We are planning on hanging every single one of them up as soon we figure out where they will be best displayed. We have some creative coloring skills on this boat.

After a lunch of egg sandwiches, the open water divers – Jack, Frankie and Emily – left for the dive boat to work on their Open Water certification with the other students of the combined fleets. Gillie, Ben, Marshall, Cam and Jamie joined the other students from Miss You and Spyglass for an informative and fun lesson on fish ID and project reef. Project reef is a community service we participate in where we monitor the fish density and diversity of the reefs. We went over from Norman Island to The Caves for a 40 minute snorkel. Everyone jumped into the water, eager and ready with slates and ID plaques in hand. Ben and Gillie took this opportunity to collect more data for their fish and diversity Sierra project. They were both super excited to get to snorkel a cave!

We left the Caves and everyone that wasn’t on the dive went to shore for some time to shop around, get smoothies, play volleyball and relax on the beach with the students from the Charlie and Alpha fleet. Marshall got an enormous plate of nachos and enjoyed every single little piece of it. The divers were a little late. So the non-divers headed back to the boat to get dinner started. Both of the people on I Am Free that were responsible for dinner were on the dive, so Ben and Cam volunteered to help get it started. The team was great at working together to keep us on schedule. When the divers returned, our dinner volunteers kept preparing dinner so that they could get in a shower before the sun set. When Jack and Emily were done showering, they jumped right into their roles of making dinner and finished making a delicious spaghetti Bolognese. We waited for everyone to sit down and serve themselves before we began eating, as always, as one big boat family.

After dinner and dinner clean, we all went back to shore to get smoothies and have a big beach social with all the other students of Sierra/Foxtrot and Charlie/Alpha programs. We played a game called “pinchie pinchie” on the beach. Ben was reigning champion of this game the whole time he played, even against the staff. Jamie gave him a run for his money though; she was champion of the ladies. After about an hour on shore, we all headed back to our boats.

On our boat, Frankie completed the ship’s log with the help of the rest of our crew and came up with a hilarious quote of the day. After finishing the ship’s log, we had time to relax and learn how to make friendship bracelets. Around 10:15p.m., everyone started getting ready for bed and drifting off to sleep, excited and eager to begin our next day in the Caribbean.

Check out photos of I Am Free’s day, which include some awesome shots from student, Gillie Sutliff!

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Look forward to the next Trip Blog, which will cover the remaining boat of the Sierra 3 and Foxtrot 3 fleet, the crew of Miss You!