Location: West End

It’s amazing how fast ten days can fly by when you’re working hard and playing harder in paradise. It saddens me to say that this is our third and final staff blog for Spindrift 3. It’s day 19 today, but a lot has happened since our last staff blog on day 9, so here is a recap.Day 10 was another lovely day of rotations at Mt. Point on the northeastern side of Virgin Gorda. Spindrift started the day off waterskiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding, followed by some man overboard drills with staff skipper Jack on his boat, Astrid. Everyone had the opportunity to practice these skills with our trusty volunteer, ‘Phil the fender’ while staying relatively dry before an afternoon storm rolled through. The afternoon rotation provided the first open water dive for the Vegas while the Carina’s worked on their 5th dive of the trip. There was a lot to be thankful for, so Elena and Faith whipped up the most amazing summertime Thanksgiving dinner, and with all that delicious food, it was a perfect night for a very special guest. Program director Mike joined us for dinner and lead the Lifeworks activity.The following day, first mate Celine pulled up the hook and under skipper Mary’s command, our vessel set sail for Marina Cay. We spent the day sailing around Dog islands doing sail drills in preparation for the sail practical on day 16. The entire program, sail side, dive side and Lifeworks boats all anchored in Marina Cay for the night and after Chris and Patrick fixed up a hearty pasta dinner, all the shipmates went to shore for a full program Lifeworks session. Day 12 was spent diving the Chimneys at Great Dog Island. This was the 2nd open water dive for the Vegas and the 6th for the Carina’s. After diving, we had an awesome sail to Muskmelon Bay on Guana Island with Sam as our skipper of the day. Because Great Dog and Guana Island are a good distance apart, all of the shipmates had the opportunity to take turns adjusting the sails and practicing more sail drills.The next two days at Muskmelon Bay would be our last days for rotations. The rotations on day 13 started with a Turk’s Head workshop. Patrick had a head start on making his Turk’s Head a few days earlier, so he had a leg up on everyone else. But before you knew it, Faith, Chloe, Elena, Jeremy, Celine, and Nathan had all made themselves a bracelet or anklet. Mary was quick in remembering this skill from last year and helped some of the other shipmates with their own. Everyone on the ship learned this knot with ease and soon they were on to the next rotation which was waterskiing, Pico sailing, and finally diving. On the morning of day 14, the Vegas completed their 4th open water dive and Carina’s their 8th. This was an exciting day because these were the last dives needed for their diving certifications! The afternoon was spent sailing to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola under the command of skipper Nathan and first mate Alex. After dropping hooks, chefs Celine and Sam made a scrumptious Thai peanut dinner that was paired nicely with a blazing sunset. Day 15 was an early morning for the shipmates who all hiked up Mt Sage. Elena was the skipper of the day, and soon after the hike, Mary pulled the hooks up and we cruised over to Sandy Cay for a sandcastle contest. Nathan helped direct the flow and as a group, we decided to construct a ship. Jeremy, Chloe, Sam, Celine, and Patrick dug out the outline while the rest of the crew helped fill it in. Chris was in command of the water works with Alex as his aid. Will, Elena Mary, and faith helped detail the final touches. I’m pretty sure we won, but I’m not sure if it was actually a contest. Day 16: Practical day!!! Everyone got to put their practice to use for a full morning of sailing practical. But the real test came on day 17, race day number 1. First mate Chloe was up early to pull up the hooks; chefs Alex and Elena fueled the crew up and skipper Jeremy was ready to lead the way to victory. We came in 4th on the first race to West End but finished 1st on the second race to Peter Island, well ahead of the pack! On day 18 the shipmates had the opportunity to dive on the Rhone shipwreck and in the afternoon, hike around Salt Island, which was the site of the wreck. Will and Alex stormed the hill and before you knew it, they were already down at the bottle while most had just reached the top. Chris did some exploring of his own when he found a heard of goats, and Celine and I got some photos of the whole group from an adjacent hillside. Back at the boat, Nathan pulled up the hook and the afternoon was spent sailing back top Peter Island with Will as our skipper. This was another great day for sailing so everyone got a chance to demonstrate more sailing skills they have obtained over the trip. After anchoring, Mary and Chris crushed it in the galley with the most colorful breakfast for dinner forth of July meal. Blue eggs, red biscuits, sausage, and fruit salad. It was a free night for the shipmates and one of the crew on Celestial Storm was celebrating her birthday so Nathan and Patrick brought her a bag of cereal while Chris, will and Alex delivered the milk. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have! Now to day 19. We started off the day with one last kneeboarding session. Alex, will and Nathan all took advantage of this opportunity. Elena pulled up the hook around 11 and with Celine as our skipper, we sailed to Road Town for one last shore day. Tomorrow is our last day of sailing and coincidentally, our last race day. Faith will be our skipper with Chris as our first mate! It’s going to be a great day, one that we will all surely remember.