Sierra 2 Trip Update Day 12 – Graham, Program Director
This morning began as any morning might, by arousing ourselves from slumber, eating food and getting ready for our day. Today brought two things. First, it was the first perfectly sunny and clear day that we had seen in a few days, and we were going sailing! After we cleaned up our breakfast, it was time to head to Geneve for a lesson on the differences between diurnal and nocturnal animals. We learned about how plankton go through a tremendous migration each day and how this alone drives so much of the life in the oceans. We talked about the adaptations and all the differences in behavior that we can observe. We learned about how coral, the backbone to many of the ecosystems, is in fact a nocturnal animal and changes dramatically from day to night, extending it’s tentacles to feed. After the lesson we all headed to the reef to make observations that we could then compare tonight’s night dive.
As we dropped the mooring ball, we started to prepare lunch and head away from the marina. Underway we ate our bean burritos before we put up our sails. As we sailed downwind to Nanny Cay, we practiced our points of sail, knots and parts of the boat. When we were about half way down to Nanny, we all practiced our Man Over Board drills. When we were done practicing picking up Timmy, our fallen crew member (actually two fenders tied together), we prepared ourselves for docking by tying on the fenders, coiling the lines, and reviewing exactly what we needed to do to make docking successful and safe.
Geneve was the first boat in, arriving on the outside of B dock with Kellan as the skipper. With little help from his instructors, he put the boat on the dock gently and timely, working the throttles and helm with ease. Berlin came in second and had a bit more of a tricky docking. They were at the fist slip of B dock, with a narrow slip which had land as one side of it. Alex, the skipper, seemed unworried as she approached the slip, not three minuets later, the boat was sitting calmly against the finger peer. Thank you Alex!
When everything was done, we all had an hour to shop, call home, and eat some ice cream. Everyone was back to the boats by 5 p.m. in order to prepare dinner before going on a night dive! The site was amazing: Black Forest is a dive site that is full of black coral. This lacy pluming coral hides arrow crabs, brittle stars, flamingo rungs and basket stars. The plethora of life that emerged at night was abundant. When we returned to the boats, it was time to shower at Nanny Cay’s luxurious marina showers, then it was off to bed to enjoy a long night’s sleep!