01/13/14 - Heavy Weather Sailing in the B.V.I.

Heavy Weather Sailing in the B.V.I.

We've been out at sea disconnected from the world, so here are our last few days of ship's logs:

Friday January 10

B’ Watch Log: Allison, Alanna, Katie, Matt; Kai, Walker

Today we sailed from St. Thomas to Jose Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. We headed into open water by working as a team. Today was the first day that we set the sails, and got to be a part of the process; in addition to covering all the different lines used in the maneuvers. We also learned that there are deckhand skills such as bow watch, knot tying, and sailing theory. Some people handled the waves better than other… but by the end of the day, it was all still a positive experience. In Jose Van Dyke, we hiked to the ‘Bubbly Pools’, where we saw some wild life native to the area, including pelicans, sea urchins, goats and horses. We will continue to hope for similar weather that we experienced today – mostly sun with the wind in our favor. Tomorrow we set sail for Peter Island, but before that we are anxious for our first anchor watch. Stay tuned for more updates!

Saturday, January 11:

Watch C: Colin, Anne, Phil, Jenna, Micki

Last night was the first experience on anchor watch. In pairs, we took turns performing boat checks and also completing the assigned writing challenge. We woke up to a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast, French toast, bagels, and hashbrowns. We had class after breakfast and discussed a work on a voyage of Sir Francis Drake as we would be sailing through a channel named for the explorer. The channel was beautiful and we rotated through active watch, reading and reflection, and seamanship. In seamanship we climbed out on the bowsprit and rode above the waves. In addition we discussed the theory of ocean optics: how light travels through water or is reflected and makes the colors of the sea. We dropped anchor near a rocky outcropping and had our first experience snorkeling in ocean water. There was an abundance of marine life: corals, fish, and basketball-sized sea urchins. In all, another surreal day at sea.

Sunday, January 12:

Watch A: The Alpha Dogs: Taryn, Jane, Alayna, Sam, and Mark

On this, the fourth day of our voyage, we students were awakened by a powerful rocking and the loud noise of the anchor being pulled up. After our sleepless night and anchor watch, we motored a short distance to Virgin Gorda and adventured around Devil’s Bay and the Baths. There were huge granite boulders carved by the beautiful teal waves. We ventured through the rocks in a series of caverns. After reboarding the Roseway and motoring to our next destination, Bitter End, we practiced for our deckhand Olympics. We anchored and swam a long way to a beach where we built sandcastles, saw a stingray, and opened a rotten coconut. Upon returning to the ship we had a delicious dinner with a show by Clarence to celebrate Abby’s birthday. Hopefully we stay dry small boat sailing tomorrow.