Day Three. We have set sail for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman!
We all cannot believe that we have only been aboard our fabulous Sea Dragon Exploration for 3 days. There is so much we have learned already. Dr. Keene Haywood is a plethora of information from explaining the science of the ecosystems and how to collect relevant information, to how to shoot great video and stills on any camera. Then our patient and calm teachers, Shanley and Eric run a tight ship by implementing simple procedures so we all learn to care for the boat and each other, safely and efficiently.
So by planning, mapping, researching and working out schedules, together, we decided on our next few days course, required moorings and sailing time contingencies. Today, we are able to put our training to the test. By mid day, we had completed all the necessary preparations for leaving the shores of Grand Cayman behind. Everyone is working so well together and willing to step up to haul up a sail or winch in a sheet – not an easy task on a 72 foot boat! And what a beautiful boat she is when in full sail cutting through gorgeous Caribbean waters.
Once under way, Eric began flailing his arms during another sailing lecture to test our boat and wind direction knowledge. However, the best skills are learned by acquiring experience. So we all have our teams and our shifts for sail/watch rotation. Tonight we are sailing all through the night to arrive in the early morning, thus giving us the most amount of time for exploring on the other islands.
During one of our shifts, a beautiful pelican landed on the transom to hitch a ride with us. Watching the sunset together, we all searched for the infamous “green flash” that occurs when the sun drops below the horizon. However, when speaking to the crew about the highlight of their day, the response is overwhelmingly, “Getting underway and helming!” A shimmering smile lights up everyone’s face when describing the feeling of being a helmsman of a ship traveling smoothly at 9 knots without a motor or CO2 emissions. How lucky we are!
We have much more to accomplish, discover and explore over the next 4 days, as we now have lost sight of the shore….
– Christine DiCecco