written by mate, Jess Michael
July 1, 2018
Today’s the day when staff step back and let the students take full control of the vessel. Students woke with the sun, prepped breakfast and got everything ready while the skipper, navigator and mate had a staff meeting over on staff boat to get there schedule for the day.
Once pre-depature checks were completed, with a few helpful hints from the staff, Vieques up-anchored. Without any help, they were able to use the navigational equipment to figure out where they were going and set a course. It took the Tango students some time to figure out the sails on their own, but they cracked down, remembered all of their learning so far, and got them up! Points of sail was something they really put into action during this Challenge Day sail. Sailing crafts cannot sail directly into the wind, nor on a course that is too close to the direction from which the wind is blowing; this range of directions into which a sailing craft cannot sail is called the “no-go” zone, or sailing in irons. Staying out of irons in between tacks was the Tangos biggest triumph of the day!
After a champion sail up to the cut between Guana Island and Tortola, the students took down the sails. It was one of the best sail drops they’ve had so far. They motored through the pass and into Long Bay on Beef Island, no problems!
Anchoring was a bit of a challenge as they had only done it once before. They overcame the challenge with a bit of help from the staff. Everyone got to spend the afternoon on the beach playing with the local Youth Empowerment Program’s kids, watersporting, and having a BBQ on the beach. Overall, challenge day was a major success!
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.