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Sunrise on Ile Fourche

Mar 20, 2007


Location: Il Fourche
Author: Beaker
Activities and comments- Myself, Abe and Rob brought in the day sitting on the rocks at the highest peak on Ile Fourchue. We got up at 5:30 and Dan drove us ashore, we hiked up the rocky terrain to reach the summit in time to watch the sun rise off the northern coast of St Barth’s. It was a beautiful way to start the day. We descended down and headed back to the boat for breakfast. We then raised the anchor and set sail for Statia, “sans electronics”. Using skills leant in MTE coastal navigation class the shipmates had to correctly estimate the time we would reach Statia, without using any of our electronic aids. They took a 3 point fix to locate our position, and used slices of bread thrown from the bow to estimate our “bread speed”. These calculations were then used alongside the charts to estimate our arrival time. Alia won the game, she was amazingly only 40 seconds off. Pretty impressive considering all the factors that had to be taken into account, such as any potential change in wind, weather and sea state, the precision of the helmsman, and any changes in boat speed. The sail was enjoyable, the wind freshened briefly just before lunch as a small squall passed over us, and everyone enjoyed the excitement that brought. We passed the many oil tankers as we passed the northern tip of the island, and headed to the anchorage near the town of Orangested. We had some free time in the afternoon upon arrival and many worked on coastal navigation practice for their Nav Master certification. After dinner there was an Student Leadership Development Class, called the River, during which everyone explained the river/path of their life and shared some of the main events that had shaped their life with the group.