Location: Sommers Beach, Tortola
These past two weeks have passed impossibly fast and yet the days are so jam-packed they seem to stretch on forever. Boone has become our resident boat and car expert, amazing us all with his ability to weigh the relative merits and deficiencies of every vessel we pass. Boone also caught a baby turtle on Anagada Island using the “rodeo” method. Griffin’s infectious grin and unflappable optimism has charmed us all, and she has all but gotten over her fear of reptiles after she released a green turtle in Anagada! Sydney has been getting everything on the first try, from starting the dinghy’s engine to backflipping off the stern. Jake is great at every school we visit, his energy never ebbing. He has been a great leader with the kids we visit, his booming voice always commands the crowds attention. The second we found out about Charlie’s operatic skills, we demanded concerts. He was more than willing to treat us, and the rest of the fleet at Vixion Point practically gave him a standing ovation for his rendition of Dream On’. We recently had our “fun day” at Muskemelon Bay were the shipmates all had a chance to participate in a variety of water sports including Pico sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding. Jake and Charlie had some serious bonding moments on the Pico, even though most of the time was spent capsizing. Emma and Elleri, from Spindrift 2, also had the opportunity to showcase their Pico sailing skills and it seemed that the smiles were never ending. Clara has been enthusiastic about the turtles and helped to catch a Hawksbill at Guano Island. Clara and Sera sailed in the Pico and did not capsize, a feat that even trained sailor and staff member Matt could not accomplish. Sera has baked many scrumptious desserts and has been ecstatic about the turtles. She helped catch a turtle with the help of Clara, Clarie, Doria, Julia, Boone, and Laura at Monkey Point on Guano Island. Hayden, Jake, and Charlie assisted Emma in catching a different turtle at Guano, even though she lost her flipper in the process. Emma also gave her very best at knee boarding and continued to smile the entire time, regardless of all the salt water she got to the face. Emma is also a leader in our outdoor excursions, and was especially helpful during a beach hike in Anegada. Laura was deeply moved by a beach clean-up at Savannah Bay, and besides all the garbage she collected, she managed to find a beautiful shell. Laura has also been a great leader for the school children that we do community service work with and she is always encouraging them to give their all, whether it be playing “I lost my dog on a Saturday night” or cleaning up the beaches. She also gave Pico sailing a try, but because of the blustery conditions, a few capsizes ensued. The weather has been unseasonably well, with plenty of sunshine and fair winds. However, on Julia’s day to skipper, we had some massive downpours, but she managed to handle it like a champion and piloted our way into two separate anchorages. She has had a great attitude on the trip and has been encouraging all of us to learn a few new words in French. Hayden’s cross fit skills were put to the test while catching turtles at Anegada and she wrangled the largest Hawksbill caught so far this trip. Claire, along with Hayden, have been our resident hair stylists, braiding the girls hair, as well as Boones! One of the activities that we did towards the beginning of the trip was a day excursion to Copper Mine National Park, where the waves crashed impressively and much trash was gathered. Claire later said that this was a highlight of her trip, which is no surprise due to the beauty and historical significance of this site. Claire also got up on the wake board the very first time on “fun day”, although she claims that she much preferred “body waking” with Doria, which was basically training for the days of turtle tagging via the “manta” method. Doria was rather successful with the wakeboard and enjoyed a few laps around Muskomelon Bay on “fun” day. Her energy, willingness to help, and her-ever-so-sweet demeanor has helped keep the attitude of all the shipmates at a high level. Things on Grins have been moving along smoothly, and with little over a week left of the trip, we still have a lot to accomplish and many more memories to make!