written by Tango Rotating mate, Marina Chissus
July 30, 2017
All of us got up bright and early as we had a surprise activity planned at 8a.m. We enjoyed a nice breakfast and learned that the Sail Caribbean Operations staff would be picking us up for a truck tour of the west side of Tortola! It was such a beautiful trip. We rode near the water for a while then started to drive up Sage mountain. It was so steep and the higher you went the cooler the wind got. And of course, the fun part was going back down the hill. You could see all the beautiful bays and beaches. It was incredible to see the island from such a different vantage point than our vessels. We got back down to water level and rode along the beach back to Nanny Cay.
Right when we got back, our boat made a dedocking plan, executed the plan perfectly and started our way to Saba Rock on Virgin Gorda. Today, we had Courtney, a rotating captain, on our boat to help us out too which was a great treat. She helped us raise our main sail and the jib. Everyone worked together to tack the boat, and took turns on the helm. It was about a six hour sail! We passed the time between tacks with fun games that Allie, our mate, made up or she knew of. When we got to our destination, we did a blind mooing ball pickup — it was awesome! The crew worked together to be the eyes for our skipper of the day and told the skipper where to go, while he actually had a blindfold on. Needless to say, the thrill was a blast!
Once we were all secured on the mooring ball, we started showers and clean up. Everyone dressed nice to go out to dinner. One of the Tango crew’s parents who were visiting the islands offered to buy the entire boat dinner at Saba Rock restaurant. We of course wanted to look our best for the occasion.
After dinner, all the students were so thankful, full of great food and incapable of losing the smiles from their faces. As we shuttled back to our boat, everyone got ready for bed, brushed their teeth, and cleaned up. On the bow under the stars, we held our boat meeting. Then, as it always goes, it was time to go to bed and get some rest for the next day’s adventures.
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.