written by Mate-In-Training, Andrew Dyer
July 10, 2017
We woke to a bright and early sun, bright like our anticipation for the first real full day of program. The day before had been a long and exhausting day of travel, but now, after a solid yet giddy night’s sleep, we felt ready and excited for the adventure that awaited us just outside the protection of the marina. After breakfast aboard their new home, the students headed to the Sail Caribbean Divers dive shop to make sure paper work was in order and to make any necessary gear purchases. The rest of the morning was taken up with going over our boats, giving the schedule for the day and making last minute provisioning and preparations.
As the other boats readied to leave, Miss You, the Tango boat was found to have a couple minor repairs that would take a little longer to work on. While the two Alpha boats proceeded ahead to Cooper Island, our destination for the day, Miss You stayed back for another hour of preparation. But this in no way dampened the spirits of the children, for they were sent on a truck tour of Tortola which ended in a round of ice-cream! And by the time they had finished the truck tour, the boat was ready to go and they were soon off after the rest of the fleet.
Arriving at Cooper on schedule, all the divers were sent ashore for their first confined skills lesson. The rest of the non-divers went to shore shortly afterward to enjoy an afternoon of beach activities, smoothies, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and snorkeling. When the divers arrived back, we all headed back to boats to begin showers and dinner prep.
Being their first proper boat shower, the mate and captain put on a demonstration on the proper means it takes to clean one’s self while living on a boat, and how to put on the best shower dance at the same time. After showers and dinner prep, we sat down for a delicious meal of burritos. After dinner, we completed our boat chores and settled in for a restful evening of boat meeting and power down. With the first day out on the water fading with the sun, we couldn’t help but dismiss our pre-conceived fears or doubts about what this program might be like and settled our heads into our pillows content and excited for the next 12 days!
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.