Hello again friends and family,
Last Friday we completed a sailing camp on Jost Van Dyke in collaboration with the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society (JVDPS) and Foxy’s Taboo. From Monday through Friday, we worked with over 15 kids teaching sailing in optimists, tai chi, and other ocean skills. What started as sailing instruction 101 turned into some relatively high level sailing training by the middle of the week.
The speed in which these young Jost Van Dyke locals picked up sailing was astonishing. They have no fear, they love to push each other, and they are without any doubt the epitome of “water people”. By Wednesday of the camp, 4 of the campers sailed by themselves from the East end of Jost more than a mile upwind to Sandy Spit.
Favorite moment of the camp: Throughout the camp there was a group of four older sailors (between 11 and 13 years old) who once they learned the sailing basics on day one, they couldn’t get enough time on the water- most days they would be sailing before the instructors arrived and again after we left. They were the heroes and role models to many of the younger sailors during the camp. One of these young and imprinted sailors, Jahvin, was particularly excited by the sailing opportunities. For the first few days, he simply sat in the front of the opti while one of the older kids sailed him around. Seeing him pictured below, he clearly loved it.
By the third day, Jahvin got to steer with the older kids in front helping him out, and by Friday all he wanted was to sail the opti completely on his own (just like the older kids). So, while everybody was swimming at the end of the day, Jahvin launched an opti and went for a sail. Of course, sitting on the dock and watching him do this was great in itself, yet what really made this moment special was when he came by the dock to see if he could pick up his friend, Danziekel. With a simple approval from coach Tyler, Danziekel hopped into the front of the boat and off they went. This time however Jahvin was driving the boat, this time Jahvin was the role model.
All in all, this was a great camp with awesome young sailors and a killer sailing venue. A huge thanks to all the Bow sailing instructors that joined us throughout the week: Sean Hennessy for bringing his positive flare to the program; Elizabeth Nurse for her constant encouragement and care for the sailors; Danny Petrovic for his genuine selflessness; and Alec Anderson, for bringing the technical skill and helping push the top squad all the way up to Sandy Spit.
Thank you to JVDPS and Susan Zaluski for bringing us to your home and all of the logistical work to make this happen. Thank you to Foxy’s for room and board and Foxy’s Taboo for the sailing venue and meals. Thank you to Nora and Duane and Susan again for being awesome counselor colleagues during the week. And, lastly, a massive thank you to Joyce Mckenzie and VI Performance Sailing for lending opti sails, spars, and blades- without which none of this would have been possible. We greatly look forward to our next journey on Jost and whatever lies ahead for these sailors.