Location: West End, Tortola
With a heavy heart we had to say farewell to the amazing crew of Wind Shadow this morning. Each one of the crew touched our hearts in a different way. Arriving as predominantly strangers, it is safe to say that all 14 of the Shadow family have made friendships to last a lifetime. With the assistance of the beginner and the advanced sailing classes we successfully came in second place in the race from West End to Peter Island. Alex, David, Devyn, Alexia, Blair, & Natalie have certainly impressed the staff with their advanced skills and assisted the new sailors in sailing and navigating, especially when challenged to run Wind Shadow without staff assistance from Road Town, Tortola to Great Harbor Peter, Peter Island. As the skipper that day, Devyn took great command of the new challenge while utilizing Alex’s found interest in navigation and Blair’s good eye for sail trim. The final dive on the RMS Rhone was the culmination of all the hardworking and adventure diving the Wind Shadow crew did this session. From wreck diving the Kodiak Queen at Mountain Point to experiencing many of their first night dives, shipmates gained immeasurable experience. The advanced diving certification allows opportunity for more advanced diving as well as specialized diving. Wind Shadow shipmates also completed their Fish ID and Coral Reef Conservation specialties, which expanded their knowledge of marine life as well as learning good practices to help protect the complex ecosystems that lie just below the water’s surface. During our long sails Alex was full of enthusiasm, constantly adjusting our sail trim and block positioning willing to put in the work to gain an extra knot of speed. Always full of energy, Natalie, Alexia, and Blair always kept the crew’s energy up with a song to sing or some jokes even in the lulls of wind. These three could make everyone smile in any situation and brought the group closer together with their outgoing personalities. Making a boat run smoothly takes more than just good sail trim and steering, it takes a good team. On Wind Shadow, Graydon was the glue holding our ship together; making sure everyone was okay and felt included, he really helped turn the boat into a home. Unapologetically herself, Hope made others feel comfortable in their own skin and brought the goofy side out of everyone, helping others make genuine friends and realize it’s okay to laugh at yourself. If anyone ever needed a great and someone to relax and talk with, Erin was their girl with her cool, calm, and collected personality. If anyone ever needed some cheering up, Will and David could always deliver. Acting as the comic relief in stressful times they kept the boat fun and at the same time composed. Boats need people that can always fit into any situation. People that can mesh between groups and make the boat connect. Heather and Devyn made life easy for the staff, connecting groups if they formed and keeping the whole boat together. They were the home-keepers of the boat. All and all the initiative and maturity of Wind Shadow impressed us to no end. Wind Shadow will be a boat to remember and it is a rarity and a pleasure to be a part of so many young adults journeys helping them to grow in new and incredible ways.