Written by Ellie C., marine biology mate
On the morning of July 2nd, the fleet woke up bright and early at 6:30 am. The breakfast crew put out a buffet of bagels, cereal, and fruit to get us fueled up for the 4-hour sail to the beautiful island of Anegada. Before sailing, we went over the navigation route and had a refresher on de-mooring. The kids killed it on getting off the mooring ball, and before we knew it, the sails were being raised, and we were cruising. Underway we listened to music, looked out at the beautiful islands and water which surrounded us, and went over some lessons on sail trim and points of sail. The kids’ confidence in sailing seems to be improving greatly as they are getting more comfortable with the different parts of the boats, lines, and the different jobs it takes to raise, trim, and lower the sails.
The fleet pulled up to Anagada, which is the only BVI made from coral versus volcanic action, at around 1 pm. We picked up mooring balls, and while lunch prep started, we had a blast taking an early afternoon dip. For lunch, we ate deli sandwiches and then got ready to go onto the shore. After a briefing on the kinds of sea turtles found in the BVI and why we have partnered with Ark to tag and track turtles, Sierra and Foxtrot students headed out to snorkel and catch turtles. Despite seeing five turtles, we were unable to catch any to tag, which our turtle-catching experts say is attributed to the visibility in the bay being really bad. Therefore once the turtle went below the surface level, you were unable to follow it as you could only see about a foot in front of you. It was still turtle-ally awesome to see so many turtles in one spot!
At Anegada, the fleet hopped into open-air trucks, and the kids enjoyed the breezy drive over to Bamboo Beach Club. Here the kids did a multitude of fun things, from playing catch on the beach, swimming in the cool ocean, and relaxing and chatting in the shade. The kids also had the option to buy a cold beverage, food from the restaurant, ice cream, and visit the gift shop. Captain Abby taught a lesson on the human impact on the environment, and we had a beach trash clean-up competition, and boy, does the beach look spotless now!
After the lovely hours we spent at Bamboo Beach Club, we took the kids over to Anegada’s shark nursery. There we strolled in the shallow waters, and those that were looking closely were able to spot baby lemon sharks. They were quite the sight! Then it was time to head back to boats, and the kids took their usual ocean shower, freshwater rinse, and started dinner prep. For dinner, we enjoyed penne pasta with meat sauce, and of course, vegetarian and vegan options were provided. Over dinner, we talked about how exciting the day was and shared lots of laughs.
After dinner, the kids did a great job cleaning up the boat. Once the boat was clean, each boat’s crew got together to have their nightly boat meeting with cookies. Sonspeak was moored next to the staff boat, and we had an epic dance-off blasting the Cotton Eye Joe and Cupid Shuffle. Campers Nate and Reagan pulled out their best dance moves doing the worm on the boy and our mate Janaye even taught us an Australian group dance. Then it was lights off for a quiet night on board! Goodnight Anegada!