Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
The day started pretty late by our standards (7 o’clock) at our anchoring in Road Town. After an oatmeal breakfast and a clean we moved out by dingy to the VISAR (Virgin Islands Search And Rescue) building in Road Town around 9 o’clock, our job: dredge the trench that the VISAR boat hangs over. As it is located near a ferry dock, lots of silt is pushed into the docking area for the rescue boat. When we arrived, we were pretty intimidated and honestly horrified by the murkiness of the water. However, we had a job to do so to start Heidi jumped in first and found the water above her waist. As we soon learned the propellers of the boat had pushed most of the sand to the edges. Soon people with shovels and buckets were in the dirty water clearing the sand and silt. The remaining people helped lift the buckets from the water and deposit the sand on a nearby beach. Although people initially complained about the horrid smell of the sand, a brief throwing of the sand did occur intermittently throughout the day, all in good humor. Digging out the silt, however, was not easy as we encountered loads of problems. Seaweed and mangrove seed leaves sought to distract us constantly as they floated around in the water. Also heaving a sand-filled shovel to the surface of about 3-4 feet of water is no easy task: people would constantly come up empty handed as the sand and dirt had slipped off in the process. However, our biggest obstacles were rocks. Rocks would deter and offset the shovels when lifting and even led to the breaking of one of our four shovels when Patrick tried to remove one, especially large rock (we were forced to leave the rock in because of its immense weight). Nevertheless, we labored through, ate lunch at VISAR around 12:30, cleaned up the building and left shortly after. Occurring next was a good number of peoples favorite part of the day, fresh water showers! On land! After showering, we had around 30 minutes of unintended shore time while we waited to be dinghied back to the boat. Virgin Pina Coladas were bought as usual, and everyone felt refreshed. A little after three we left Road Town and motored south(ish) to Peter Island where we are spending the night.
After arriving, we had about one hour before VISAR personnel arrived, with a twist: we were to act as victims in helping train their recruits. We had three different scenarios: a disembodied finger caught in a windlass, a spinal injury caused by a fall from the roof, and a broken shinbone on the beach. Heidi played the fingerless victim with Rashid supporting her (Patrick carved a fake finger from a hotdog with an onion fingernail and bone fragment). Ricky played the fallen victim with Jared supporting him. And George played the broken leg victim with Maryam supporting and sub supported by Tiffany, Maggie, and myself. As I was not on Catalinaville, I missed out on what happened aboard, but I heard Ricky was carried off in on a backboard. On the beach, George’s superb acting skills were evident in his presentation of a broken shinbone. Although they did not splint George’s leg, we all got to ride in their rescue boat, at a speed of about 40 knots. For dinner, Anna came back over and made a delicious Mexican dinner, accented by a homemade salsa by Patrick. Travis (who is the Operational Director of Lifeworks and ActionQuest) also came over to dine with us. Clean up is almost done and so is this blog. We are all psyched for our evening activity: an hour’s worth of paperwork!