Sierra 1 Trip Update Day 15 – Graham, Program Director
This morning was the first fast-paced morning that we have had in a while. It all began with buttering English muffins. After breakfast we hopped in the dinghy and to shore at 8 a.m. for some diving fun! On the boat the divers all learned about fish species identification. This is not a new topic for us, however it is part of the advanced diving course that the divers finished today. The dives were both on the famous RMS Rhone. The Rhone was an over 200 foot long steam powered sailing ship — the first of its kind — that sank off the point of Salt Island back in 1867. The wreck rests in 20-90 feet of water and can be covered in two dives.
When the divers all returned, we prepared our lunch of chicken pesto on bagels. When we all finished it was finally time to head off to Trellis Bay. As we prepared for departure we closed all the hatches, took clothes off the lifelines, and dropped the mooring ball! As we headed into the channel, the wind was gusting up to about 29 knots. Since it was so strong we did not want to risk getting caught in a squall we simply put a couple of reefs in our jib. As we continued to sail upwind toward the Eastern point on Beef island, we played hydration games and Categories. When we arrived at Trellis Bay, two Sail Caribbean boats from the Charlie program were already there. We arrived around 3 p.m. and then saw the first turtle. In seconds we were in the water, chasing what could be the first turtle to be caught this year! As the students chased the turtles around Trellis Bay, the staff followed in a RIB to spot and watch for other boats. Alas, after an hour of feverish chase, we returned to the boat unsuccessful. Next time!
When we got back we talked for a few minuets about sustainable fisheries, using Maine lobster and UK lobster industries as examples. After having a conversation about the ways in which healthy fisheries differ from unstable ones, we started preparing our Fourth of July dinner of hotdogs and watermelon and setting to our chores. After all was done, we had a quick review of all the knowledge that we have learned in the past few days with glow sticks as rewards to take ashore with us to the Fire Ball Party! When it is possible all of the Sail Caribbean fleets gather for a night to mingle and dance with each other. The giant iron balls on the beach of Trellis Bay are filled with wood, lit on fire as a band plays local music, and the tone was set for a great night! The party was amazing. It was great to see and meet new people and old friends. From all the turtle-chasing, dancing and sailing, sleep will certainly come easily tonight!