MVP Helm Report: July 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

The MVP's sailing program is in full swing and the students are digging it!! After a classroom discussion on the "no go zone" and safety tips, we snap on the life jackets and its show time! Within a few yards of shore the salty saying "when in doubt let it out" quickly becomes a reality... and they are away! There have been a few encounters with anchor lines and tree roots, but now most are fine tuning their sailing skills. The future calls for organized races with prizes to be won. This past Saturday the advanced students were allowed (under escort), to sail over to Happy Island and back! Photo: rolling up sails

Dr. Henry Smith has been sailing the MVP's 19' Flying Scot weekly and his "Thursday" group of students are advancing. Plans are to gradually move the students from Optimist training, to sailing the more advanced Flying Scot. MVP students are fortunate to have access to these vessels and new recruits are signing up!

In the last newsletter it was mentioned that the program's growth has naturally increased operational expenses. A new "Wish List" page has been developed on the MVP's website to provide potential donors knowledge of both the needs and the estimated cost. While we've grown in terms of assets (sailboats, rowboats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.), finding the money to pay for basic needs (boat repairs, pool water, electricity, food for lunches, part-time labor, cleaning supplies, etc.) is worrisome. We write for grants, run fundraisers, take in items that can be resold... and importantly, we check the mail for donations! Supporters are urged to pass on the "Wish List" link to their friends and business leaders. The MVP is an invesment into the future that will bring about high returns!

Field Trip! MVP students were recently treated to a fun day of training down at Brewers Bay. Annually we receive an invite from Katie Dyal of the organization Common Tides that visits St. Thomas with college students. Katie's group lives aboard a sailing catamaran for a week while they are learning about marine science and sailing. These students also appreciate spending time with islanders to learn of their culture and customs. MVP students enjoyed a full day of sailing and snorkeling and it gave them a chance to share their knowledge. Learn more about Common Tides: Here

Peak Storm Season Ahead: Time to get prepared! The MVP has its 28' powerboat and 19' Flying Scot sailboat in the water, along with the newly acquired Optimist (5) that are located close to the shoreline. In the event of even a close call - we must move these valuable training vessels to safety. This announcement is being made to prepare supporters for an email blast asking for help. FYI (bragging), two weeks after the 2017 hurricanes, the MVP was back up and running!

Lot's More Happenings!

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Straight Ahead! JL