Global: Session 2 - Minerva - Offline
Posted: Tue, Jul 28, 2015
Day 20: Staff Update
Location: West End, Tortola, BVI
Well here we are, the end of session 2.For us staff this session went incredibly fast. On day four we left the BVI and began our journey down island with a passage to Saba and two weeks later our passage from St. Barth returned us to our starting point.From our first passage to our final passage this crew made giant strides; where the majority suffered from some seasickness on our first passage, we successfully completed our final passage with not one person feeling seasick. Not only did our students earn their sea legs, they also earned the some pretty sweet sailing certifications. Nathan, James, and Will our returning AQ shipmates and Nick’s advanced sailors, all earned their IYT Flotilla Skipper certification and Aaron, Theo, Robert, Jake, Lauren, Lexi and Anna, the basic sailors, all earned their IYT International Crew Certificate. Nick and I are so impressed by the knowledge our students acquired throughout the session.On day three Theo was leading a student sail raise as we departed Road Town; for over an hour on our passage from Antigua to St. Barth, Jake steered one of the straightest courses I’ve ever seen; and on day 19 we were able to perform a perfect man overboard recovery when our trash bag came loose and fell off our stern into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Although we spent a good amount of time on the water, our students also spent a good amount of time exploring the islands we visited. On Saba we are able to get Lexi, Anna, Theo and Robert scuba diving for the first time.On Statia Will and James were able to dive to great depths on the Charlie Brown, an old AT&T cable laying vessel, while the rest of the group climbed high above the clouds to Panorama Point on the Quill. On Nevis a group went horse back riding and we had a great dinner at Sunshine’s. From there we made our way to Antigua where we danced at Shirley Heights, explored the dockyard, and swam for hours in the pouring rain.On St. Bart’s we went cliff jumping, ate French breakfasts, and spent a day surfing. And when we returned to the BVI we water-skied, snorkeled, sailed and continued to make memories. This trip was amazing to say the least and Nick and I are sad to see it end; our students are our family and three weeks of laughing and sailing with this unbelievable group on Offline just wasn’t enough!
Posted: Sun, Jul 26, 2015
Day 19: Caves Are Cool
Location: The Bight, Norman Island, BVI
Today began with a great breakfast and we quickly prepared to start our sailing practical test. The first person on the helm was Robert. Each basic sailor had to sail in a complete circle by themselves, commanding the other people to maintain the sails. It was really fun and we all participated in this drill. Afterwards we sailed to Roadtown where we ate lunch and met up with a few other ActionQuest boats. Lunch was good, but then we had to hustle back to the boat to get to the caves to snorkel. After the hour long sail we got a mooring ball and dove in to snorkel. We snorkeled along the coast and went in and out of caves as we moved along. There were many colorful fish that were playing around under water. After the snorkeling we went to the bay next door and settled for the night. Nick and Gwen left the boat for a meeting and we prepared and ate dinner all by ourselves. After dinner we did an activity where we all wrote something nice about everyone. This is to bring home the experience and you will always remember what these people though of you. It was incredibly meaningful to do because it brings back all the amazing memories I’ve made. Today was a spectacular day that tied together our whole ActionQuest experience.
Posted: Sat, Jul 25, 2015
Location: Great Harbour Peter, Peter Island, BVI
We started off the day with a breakfast of cereal and oatmeal. When we finished cleaning up after breakfast we had a choice to go water skiing and wake boarding or stay on the boat. Aaron and the girls chose to go wake-boarding while the rest of us stayed on the boat and played cards. When they got back we picked up the anchor and sailed to Salt Island. Just off the coast of Salt Island there is a ship wreck of a 300 foot boat called the Rhone. The divers went down to see it up close while the non-divers stayed on the surface and snorkeled above it. When the divers got back to the boat we all got into the dinghy and went to the island to hike the hill on it. It’s called Salt Island because there is a lake on it that had solid salt around the edge of it that looks like ice. At the top of the hill there was a good view of the ocean and all of the nearby islands. We took some pictures then headed back to the boat. When we got back we pulled up the anchor again and headed back to Great Harbour Peter to anchor for the night. When we got there we all showered and the chefs went down below to start making dinner. Some of us stayed in the water and had fun swimming and trying to do back flips off the dinghy. When dinner was ready we all dried off and sat down for a dinner of chili and rice. We are all starting to feel sad knowing there are only twos days left.
Posted: Fri, Jul 24, 2015
Twas The Night Before Passage
Location: GHP, Peter Island, BVI
Twas the night before passage, the last one you know, and all through Offline, not a creature was stirring down below. When all of a sudden the lights shone bright, as Nick announced this his birth night. One, two, three the “Happy Birthdays!” they mounted, until all eleven Nick had counted. Then what a day! What a lovely day! We raised our sails at the cry of haul away! Then with nothing but wind as our power, we were dazzled by the passing meteor shower. Soon, like water, the inside jokes began to pour, while Lauren and Nathan rekindled their prank war. At three in the morning, watch team two was returned to their snoring. Then at six, it was time to trade places, and we awoke to the morning sun in our faces. Coffee, Pringles and nonsensical chatter had bolstered watch team one’s minds over their matter, but their sanity we surely did save, fore they wore the look of the sleep deprave. Breakfast, broken hearts and thoughts of home, kept my watch team awake across the sea foam. At nine like the setting sun, one watch ended and another begun. But our plans were far from done. A cake we devised for the birthday boy, to be piled high with icing to bring him joy. So the cake was set in motion, for cooking is tricky upon the ocean. Then at noon bread we did festoon with turkey, ham, peanut butter and jam. Then whilst the country music played, Nick’s cabin Robert did invade. Thus began a great pillow war, the likes of which Offline had never seen before. Then at 12:24 watch team one was sent to snore, and by 13:23 Virgin Gorda we could see! We filled our customs and immigration while we studied for our VHF certification. At 14:22 the quarantine flag we flew and all hands on deck was called too! We checked through customs in old Spanishtown, but we had no intention of hanging around. For Great Harbour Peter was our final destination, and for there we sailed with no hesitation. An hours sail and what did we see? The whole ActionQuest fleet in all of its beauty! The sun’s dying light sparkled on our beam and in we sailed like a mariner’s dream. We did it! We sailed! Our odyssey complete! From Saba to St. Barth, from corn wars to broken moors, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the Quill, from birthday cakes to heart aches, no other boat could claim our skill! Oh what a day! What a lovely day! And how sad I should see it die away, but everything has its final words and these are mine, a pirate’s life for me and for all of Offline!
Posted: Thu, Jul 23, 2015
Day 16: Surf’s Up
Location: Gustavia, St. Barth
Today was quite something. We woke up at a healthy 7:30 AM and everyone except me went for a lovely French breakfast. When they returned I met them by the dock and we headed below deck for a lesson on VHF radio communications. Once we finished we headed for a beach to go surfing. When we got there, Theo and I waited for the others in a lovely secluded clearing at the shoreline. The others enjoyed surfing while I rested in the hammock. A while later we discovered a lovely resort with a wonderful pool. We enjoyed the water for a while until we decided to return to the beach. We surfed for a while longer and then headed back to the boat. We then enjoyed an amazing dinner of rice and beans with hot dogs, finished our passage prep, and headed to bed.