Location: Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe
Most of the crew woke up feeling well-rested. I did not have such luck. I was the unfortunate victim of the dreaded 4:00-5:30 anchor watch. The breakfast was a spinoff of a boat “delicacy”– sausage! (We had breakfast burritos with sausage, to be more precise). After the artisanal meal, we fully prepared our vessel for the passage to Pigeon Island. (An Island off of Guadeloupe that will serve as our dive site tomorrow). We set sail by 9:30, invigorated by Matt and Tina’s meal.
About an hour into the passage, Carolyn gathered us, students, in the cockpit for a seamanship lesson. With a whiteboard and a marker that’s always magically dry whenever she tries using it, Carolyn explained how sails propel the boat. (Bernoulli’s Principle / “lift”). This was followed by a knot tying competition amongst the students. Although I found myself in the last place for many of the knots, I regained the knowledge I possessed 17 days ago.
We found ourselves “smoothly sailing” for the next 2 hours until Carolyn threw a curveball, more specifically, a MOB pole overboard. This was quickly followed by Alex throwing a fender overboard. Taken aback by what had just happened, it took us a moment to process what was going on. There were men overboard! We had pointers, and people deftly lower Irv. It was efficiency amidst anarchy, and we managed to get both the fender and pole back on board. We weren’t out of the woods yet; the “men” were seriously injured and needed CPR. It was quite funny watching people perform CPR on inanimate objects.
Our lunch was Matt’s family recipe– garbage bread. This amalgamation of meat and bread was quite tasty, despite the questionable choice in name. After we anchored in Pigeon Island, we had potatoes, rice, and veggies for dinner. This meal was good, just like its predecessors. After dinner, students were shocked to find that the forks that we had assumed went overboard for the past month were magically back in the galley. We assumed it was the staff’s doing, and it’s quite incredible to think that people committed to this lucrative “prank” for a month. (We only had about five forks for well around a month and used spoons for every meal). Was it worth it in the end? You be the judge. It turns out the forks were an impulse buy while the staff was fueling the dinghies. Regardless of the source, it’s just nice to have forks back again.
The day ended with a seamanship class in which Carolyn taught us how to measure the drift and set of current. She gave the class 5 problems that challenged us to summon our “superb” seamanship.
Overall the day was wonderful. It was a smooth sail to Pigeon Island, and we got our forks back. We dealt with a double MOB drill and didn’t falter when faced with Carolyn’s cryptic charts. The end of this trip is in sight, and it’s quite incredible to think about how much we achieve on each of these days.