Location: Sophers Hole, BVI
All hands on deck! This is an emergency scenario, our last full day aboard OceanStar! Today was a crazy blur of events starting out really fast with what I thought was an accidental late wake-up. As it turns out, I was purposely not woken up for my skipper duties this morning as some of the crew (Ash, Meghan, Lauren, Peyton, and Francois) were setting up an Emergency First Response Scenario for the rest of us to respond to. As people woke up and began coming up to the deck, we found chaos! A hypothetical lightning strike had hit our boat, and now some of our crew were hypothetically injured and needed a response. Lauren had gone deaf, Peyton hit his head on the companionway in the panic, and Francois had turned into a plastic mannequin and lost all of his limbs (He will likely not recover from this). However, our EFR-trained crew jumped straight into the action, working on rescuing and treating the victims across the boat. Early into the scenario, however, we realized not all the victims were on the boat; in fact, Meghan was floating out in the water in her dive gear, unconscious and needing rescue. As trained Stress and Rescue divers, Desmond and I were the ones required to attend to the scene, so we kitted up in our masks, fins, snorkels, and still in pajamas, leaped into the bay to go save our friend Meghan and dragged her back to the boat. As we attempted a rescue, a new victim appeared: Ray, Meghan’s hypothetical husband, panicked seeing her unconscious in the water and made a beautiful swan dive off the starboard side into the water to go and try and save her, but instead panicked himself and required saving as well. Back on deck, from what I heard while swimming in my PJs, was chaos: Ari tried using an AED and instead shocked himself, Stallion tried having a heartfelt conversation with Lauren, who could unfortunately not hear anything as she was hypothetical deaf, and Francois was still completely plastic.
Once we finished our EFR scenario, we got the chance to debrief and discuss our successes and shortcomings, but other than Deckie coming up into the scenario late dressed in a rain jacket around his waist, we agreed the scenario went swimmingly and could now all be EFR certified, and Desmond and I earned our Stress and Rescue Certifications! With a chaotic early morning coming to a close, we started getting ready to raise sails and bear away for the last time. We were challenged to beat the current standing record of all Boom sails raised in 12 minutes and got to work assigning roles and making an action plan to leap into once our anchor was up and we could start moving. Well, this Ocean Star crew doesn’t disappoint! We finished the sail raises in 8 minutes 50 seconds, smashing the record without even practicing, and jumping right into the front of a race of catamarans from ActionQuest, showing them our sailing skills we have built up from this whole trip! The mood was sky high as everyone jumped on every opportunity to raise sails and gybe, and we maneuvered through the wind and enjoyed our last day of sailing together. As a special treat, Ginny and I also took the opportunity to do one last boat check together and successfully beat our record with a now whopping 2 minutes and 12 seconds! A big day for records on OceanStar!
We gybed our way down the BVI to finally land in our anchorage with the rest of the ActionQuest fleet and tie up in our final resting spot of the trip where we would work on Boat Appreciation and Boat to Bed for the rest of the day, flaking sails, scrubbing the deck and topsides, cleaning bunks and packing all our stuff, and making trips to the convenience store for cold drinks that were sorely needed after hours of work. By the end, however, she looked amazing, and people finally had time to shower, get everything together, and change into some nice clothes for our dinner on-shore with all the staff as the final treat of the trip. We enjoyed drinks, food, and Timber by Pitbull before finally ending the night with my squeeze question “What is the memory that you most want to remember from this trip?” I know it was really hard for me to try and pick just one, and I’m sure everyone felt the same way.