MVP Helm Report: August 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

A lot of learning is going on and there is always time for horseplay too! Much of August was spent focusing on improving the swim strokes of students who joined the program over the summer. Thanks to the mentoring of our advanced students, there is much progress and its rewarding, knowing that the learning will be passed along to the generations who'll follow.

You'd think that on islands surrounded by water... that swimming would be a mandatory school course! We've proven these youngsters are perfectly capable of learning, they've simply been held back by their peers who were never taught to swim!!

Also taught at the MVP is the preparation of a delicious meal. It's known that teenagers can eat... and each week its someone else's turn to plan and prepare lunch for 12-15 hungry mouths. In the photo left is the assembly prep for "Subway Saturday" and readiness for the stampede when the ship's bell is rung!

Mostly its learning how to properly cook BBQ chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill... but there have also been delicious homemade tacos and W.I. pate lunches too. MVP learning is not just focused on the career opportunities found on the water; there are many good paying jobs in the hotel and restaurant industries.

Call For Help! The MVP's main training vessel has a broken transmission and is down. The rugged 28 footer (photo right) was donated and has served us for years, primarily teaching students how to handle a single engine vessel. With all its years of shifting... its now worn out and needs rebuilding. Est. $2500.

Also badly needed is a replacement 9' rubber dinghy. The existing one was also donated and has served us well... but it has also seen its last patch. Fortunately, its 6 hp engine is still in good shape. Quoted was $3500 new from Offshore Marine. If you have funds to contribute, please write a check out to: MVP, 6616 Estate Nadir, St. Thomas, VI 00802.

Generally Speaking - Mostly Ups! While currently in rocky seas and leaking $$$ - the program survives!! Mentioned in the last newsletter - is we are are experiencing the growth of both students and volunteers. So far so good with the hurricanes, the lights are on and the pool is full of water! The students are now sailing like pros and there is plenty of learning going on. Our new Golden Tabebuia and Flamboyant seedlings have sprouted and expect to see photos of MVP students planting them before the rains come in November. Anyone noticeing the ones planted 18 months ago in front of the STSA's (pool) roadside fence? The students are proud of them, and in two years the Red Hook drive is going to be very colorful!

Straight Ahead! JL