Geronimo is a voyage of self-discovery. Student crew members discover the joys and challenges of life aboard a 69-foot cutter as they sail along one leg of a tour that in 2017-18 will take the boat along the eastern coast of the U.S., from Rhode Island to the Bahamas and back. As they live, learn and explore together, classmates discover what it truly means to be a crew.
Exuma Land and Sea Park
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park covers 176 square miles of the Exuma Islands. The crew of Geronimo has spent the last few days exploring this special part of the Bahamas. Here fishing is prohibited and special attention is given to where boats can and can’t anchor to better preserve the underwater environment. B watch, composed of Hallie and Chris sailed us through narrow Dotham Cut to reach the Exumas Banks where we would start our trek through the Park. Natalie was at the helm as we sailed on to the anchor at Big Major Spot, our first anchorage here. The following morning we set out in our small boat for Thuderball Grotto to check out a unique snorkeling location. Once inside the grotto we viewed the brightest coral we’ve seen to date on the trip as well as rays and one large docile nurse shark.
After lunch, Hallie, Chris and Mary, sailed and piloted Geronimo to Wardwick Wells where we picked up a mooring for the night. The three of them executed the planning and sailing conscientiously and we were tied up to the mooring well before sundown. For the first time on the trip jackets and sweatshirts were broken out to keep us comfortable while having dinner together on deck. Afterwards, the students turned their attention to schoolwork for the rest of the night.
This morning, it was Port watch’s turn to move the boat. Zoey stepped up to be the first Junior Watch Officer of the voyage. This phase of the Geronimo program requires the students to take charge and put what they have learned over the past three weeks to work. Zoey set a great example for future “JWOs” and sailed Geronimo on to the anchor off of Norman Cay. Here we made a quick stop to check out a sunken plane that has become a habitat for sergeant majors, damsel fish, cuttlefish and other species of reef fish that we got to swim with.
Next it was Chris’s turn to be JWO and orchestrate sailing Geronimo to our anchorage for the night at Highbourne Cay. With the help of his watch Chris sailed Geronimo on and off of the anchorage, timing our arrival right with sunset.
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