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Location: Sandy Spit, BVI

Armed with a playlist on my phone and a speaker in my hand, I walked up the still cool deck to the fo’c’s’le. The lines of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” wafted down the ladder to our notoriously hard to wake sleeping beauties. No signs of life. I bumped the volume up a few notches. Nothing. Upping it again, I called out “good morning Jack, good morning Ryan.” A toe twitch and then an elbow moved into sight. Another few lines of the song and I called down that I had to wake the others but would be back.

Walking down into the salon I was surprised to see many students already awake and working on their group projects due this evening when they would be presenting their findings. Eddie and his sous chefs had chocolate chip pancakes well on their way. A few songs later most everyone else had begun rustling about and I was able to return to the fo’c’s’le. Ryan had mentioned in a squeeze answer that he often watched inspirational videos in the morning to wake up so I asked if he had any downloaded. The booming voice of the recording he had saved to his phone told us to not listen to the inner voice that told us we were tired. As the musical score intensified in the background, it told us today we would face all obstacles standing in our way and win! Empowered, we joined the others for breakfast on the deck and a leisurely morning of rescue drills and homework (or in my case grading navigation exams).

Feeling inspired, Ian and I decided we should try sailing off the mooring and the students enthusiastically agreed to the challenge. Half an hour later we were gliding out of Great Harbour Peter. Gybing back and forth down the Sir Francis Drake channel, we enjoyed a lazy lunch. Breakfast for lunch has started to become a tradition this trip and this time we enjoyed a banana oatmeal bake with yogurt. Once we had passed the southern tip of Tortola, we threw up the jib and began an upwind beat to Sandy Spit.

The port anchor was set. Some students returned below to finalize their presentations. Others jumped in to start showering. Everyone thought the active part of the day was over. Little did they know that Ian and I had been sent by the dive instructors on a secret mission to go diving so we could suddenly appear as a panicked diver having lost her buddy who would himself turn up unresponsive. Ascending to the surface, I flapped my arms wildly, half sinking below the surface as I called out for help. The students stared at me with large eyes. I pretended to pass out. Moments later I felt a hand prop up my neck and Sophia starting to yell instructions to others. The initial panic is gone, everyone swiftly fell into action working together to get Ian and me into dinghies so they could administer oxygen and begin CPR. They must have nailed it because we both came magically back to life.

I now sit in the courthouse writing to you as I listen to the dishy team singing “come on Mr. tally man, tally me banana, daylight come and me wanna go home.” We are all exhausted and it’s been a great day.

– Carolyn

p.s. Maman, Daddy, Helene and Alice, I can’t wait to see you soon