The first day of Foxtrot one, the Open Water divers went to Cooper Island to finish the remaining dives for their Open Water course. When they got back to Hodges they were all successfully certified divers and anxiously awaiting their new fleet mates who would arrive that day. They hung out by the pool, played great hydration exercises, and got to know each other even better. Everyone was assigned to their boat for the next 17 days and most of the students had arrived by 6 pm. They were greeted by their fellow students and by staff members. On Berlin, Captain Katelynn, Mate Kyle, and Rachel, Sammy, Alaina, Kate, Kelsey, Liz, Julia and Alex all welcomed Pablo to their boat. On Geneve, Captain Ben and Mate Catie welcomed Caroline, Morgan, Maddie, Riel, Inigo, Elis and Ron with the help of Megan and Howie who had just finished their Open Water course. And Captain Nate and Mate Kelly welcomed Aileen, Lara, Christina, Natt, Elizabeth, Ana, Jon and Lane onto Davinci with the help of Matt, Cristian and Sean. Shannon, the Program Director, Erica, the Fleet captain, and Bailey, the Provisions Manager, will also be with the fleet sailing on Platon. When everyone was a little bit more settled we had the island’s favorite meal of roasted Chicken, Rice and Caribbean coleslaw and paired with some fruit juices. After the meals were finished on the boats, the whole fleet gathered for the ‘Mike Talk’ where all the rules were outlined and the entire staff was introduced. Boat meetings were back on everyone’s home boats for a little more bonding and an outline of what the next 17 days hold. It was an early power down for many after a long day of scuba diving and traveling. Everyone was filled with anticipation of what Day 2, and the first sail, held for them.
Today all the boats left the docks at Hodges and were underway to Norman Island. With Kelsey at the helm on Berlin the boat left smoothly and Elisabeth and Howie followed suit with dedocking their boats just as nicely. Everyone found their sea legs and the crew had some great hoagies while underway. Inigo kept an excellent course on Geneve and all the boats arrived safely at The Bight, Norman Island. This sail was no small undertaking for the first day out in the Sir Francis Drake channel; The Bight is more than 8 nautical miles from Hodges Creek and everyone sailed there seamlessly. Berlin saw a few gusts of wind when picking up their mooring ball but Pablo, Alex and Kate worked together to secure their boat. On Davinici, Cristian, Lane, and Matt helped pick up the mooring ball, and they hooked it on the first try, settling the crew into their location for the night. Everyone hopped into the water for the swim test and the crews all passed with flying colors. Berlin celebrated their passing with a dance party on the stern of their boat. The next lesson for the day was how to take a boat shower! Taking a shower here is a magical experience; jumping into the clear blue water to clean up and following up with a fresh water rinse. It is quite a social experience and always a fun event. After showers, the crews learned how to properly clean their boats and made a group effort to keep their boats healthy. The first dinner on the water turned out spectacularly and everyone enjoyed a delicious feast of burritos. After dinner, Geneve played scrabble and discussed goals and Berlin got together in the cockpit to tell their most embarrassing and most amazing moments. Julian won for the funniest embarrassing moment and Alex won the most amazing moment. The crews powered down under the starry sky for their first night out on the water.