Location: Mountain Point, BVI
Day four of the trip (and day number 3 out on the water) began in the idyllic Savannah Bay surrounded by an Armada of yachts flying the bright orange flag of ActionQuest, a Global Expeditions Group summer sail training program for high school age students. The associated radio chatter between said yachts made for a prompt and reliable wake up call for the crew of Firebolt. After a quick breakfast the group sat down to chat through procedures and responsibilities indicated in the ship’s Station Bill. This chart on the walls throughout the boat directs staff and students to an appropriate course of action in the event of a Fire, Man over Board or an Abandon Ship situation. However unlikely they may be, a prudent mariner will never pass on an opportunity to conduct a drill of each and all of the above scenarios.
Next on the agenda, the crew chatted through the Boat Check list. Whilst underway on passage, a boat check is conducted once an hour, every hour. Part of said boat check is to transfer our electronic position, derived from the ships GPS unit, on to a paper chart. The students practiced plotting our current Latitude and Longitude onto a chart of the BVI and by the end of the exercise were also able to extrapolate coordinates for given locations on the chart.
At around 10:00 our anchors were hauled and Firebolt made a short passage over to Mountain Point where the new divers, suited and booted after lunch, went on to complete the confined water training component of their PADI Open Water Course. A number of the already certified divers used this opportunity to enroll in dinghy school training. Pleased to say that no one flunked out on this occasion and we now have a number of other able bodies who are able to conduct dinghy transportation runs between boats or dive/snorkel sites.
A delicious meal of Chili awaited the divers upon their return and the crew of Firebolt shared immensely entertaining stories of their most embarrassing moments to date. With brownies currently in the oven to celebrate the completion of all confined water dives, all Open Water students are over on Ocean Star for their second theory class whilst the Advanced divers are receiving some underwater navigation tuition in preparation for their dive tomorrow.
The smell of brownies continues to waft its way through the galley of Firebolt and with every passing minute it becomes more unlikely that there will be any left for the Firebolt crew currently over on Ocean Star….tune in tomorrow for tales of a potential mutiny.