BVI: Session 2 - La Bella Vita

Posted: Tue, Jul 26, 2016

Day 20- Race Day!

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Derek M.
We awoke after a long night of writing cards about each other. We had a nice breakfast of cereal and then I went off to talk about the upcoming race. I, along with every other skipper of the day from each boat, was briefed on the race course and then drew for spots on the starting line. I drew spot number two and we started to prepare ourselves for the race. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GOOO!” was called from the radio and we were off. We pulled off an early lead with a quick and efficient pulling out of the jib. As we rounded the midpoint buoy that we had to tack around, we were slowly passed by one of the other boats. I got caught trying to cut around the buoy too fast and we lost a lot of speed as we tacked around it. Another boat passed us and then we finally got some wind behind our sails and were off again. Slowly we tried to inch our way back into the lead, but we couldn’t overtake the other boats. With a third, place finish hopes were a little down, but then we realized that for lunch we got to eat every piece of food that was left. After we gorged ourselves on our supplies of food, we motored back to Soper’s Hole to clean the boat. After a couple hours of the smell of bleach, we were finally done. Now we are going to port to chill and then have our final BBQ.

Posted: Sun, Jul 24, 2016

Day 18- Swimmin’ In Sunken Ships!

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Caroline L.
The day started off well with Carolyn allowing us to sleep in before heading over to the wreck of the Rhone. All were excited to dive on the amazing site, but channeled that excitement into focus to study for our sailing exams. Once we arrived, the advanced sailors took their VHF exams and the beginners took their final exam for the crew certification. We later received the good news that we all passed our tests! However the other advanced sailors and I still need to take our final exam to become flotilla skippers. After our test, we went over to the wreck of the Rhone to relax and enjoy a dive. Heidi, Jack, Felix and I set up our dive gear and giant strode off the boat into the wavy ocean. On our dive, we swam through part of the sunken ship and saw lots of amazing fish! Our group even saw three huge eagle rays and a baby sea turtle! Sadly, our dive ended and we caught a dinghy ride back to Bella to swim before we took a hike on Salt Island. After arriving on the island, we paid our respects to the buried passengers of the Rhone, then trekked up the hill to an amazing cliff with views. We snapped some great pictures and boarded Bella to come back to Peter Island for the night. This was probably one of the best days of AQ with an amazing dive and hike! We are currently making breakfast for dinner while studying for our sailing test. Wish us luck!

Posted: Sat, Jul 23, 2016

Day 17- Race Day!

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Felix L.
Day 17 was one of the biggest sailing days for Bella Vita’s crew. As skipper, I started as everybody did, with a cereal and oatmeal breakfast. Then, everybody else cleared up the boat and readied themselves for the race. I attending a skipper’s meeting on know how the race would be: the destination, our place on the line, and what we should do afterwards. We then each drew a random number from 1 to 8. The one who had the number one was on the windward side of the starting line, and was advantaged compared to the others. Bella Vita was placed in four but it did not handicap us that much. After the meeting we then all raced from Sandy Cay to West End on Tortola, exactly where we had started the session 17 days go, and where Bella proudly arrived first due to an excellent steering and handling of the sails by its crew. After a nice, relaxing shore time on West End, where everybody had lunch and I attended another skipper’s meeting. For the second race, this time we didn’t stay on one tack as the morning. Instead, we beat upwind toward Peter Island. As for the morning, Bella was randomly placed in 4th position, and its crew wore their PFDs inside out once more- except the skipper of the day, since we need a special detail to recognize the captain. The second race was a lot more complex and a lot longer than the first one: going in close haul, tacking through the wind, making the boat heel much… Thanks to Bella’s crew racing was a real joy and we arrived third, but had led the racing during a long time. Then Bella’s crew rested and ate in front of a beautiful sunset, preparing for day 18.

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