BVI: Session 1 - Great White
Posted: Mon, Jul 4, 2016
Day 20 – Ending The Adventure With A Bang
Location: West End, Tortola
Maybe with other boats cleaning their entire boat inside and out, clean up day was a daunting task. All AQ’s boats take time in the morning and the ride to West End to clean every nook and cranny on our respective boars. Rather than sulk and groan at the load of work awaiting us, the shipmates of Great White rolled up our sleeves ad were ready to give clean up their all. Rapidly, all of us went to work, and by the time we docked at West End, clean up was almost entirely over and we all wondered around port until late noon. Yesterday, all of us including our staff members wrote notecard messages to each and every member of our crew. Making each individual card for everyone and reminiscing on all the things, we love bout each other made us all sit back and think of our experiences in this beautiful place. Everyone put a lot of effort into our cards and we are all very excited to read them after we all part for possibly the last time. Before we leave, however, we have a BBQ with all of AQ as a final event together before leaving day. Even though this is the end, our experiences here will stick with us forever.
Day 20 – Staff Update – Quest Success
Location: West End, Tortola
If you take the name ActionQuest literally, the trip was a successful action packed 3 weeks. It was also much more than that. From the beginning it was apparent that we were going to be a close-knit group with all of the inside jokes and secret handshakes. The second half of the trip, everyone bonded on a deeper level. Everyone has been busy with program activities and daily duties. Even mundane activities, like doing the dishes, are an adventure at sea. Everyone has a great attitude about helping out – Doug and Sydnei have been especially helpful retrieving miscellaneous objects, such as cups and deck brushes that go overboard. For chores like clean up, we usually turn up the tunes and blast out the work. Jackson’s jokes, dance moves and constant requests for the song “Tropics” keep everyone in high spirits. As far as program activities go, the Neptunes have been busy learning the ins and outs of dive equipment and working towards their wreck diver specialty certification. They’ve also had time to water ski/wakeboard, and Balazs was always the first to volunteer! Hannah got up on just one ski, and amazing accomplishment! Molly has the best of both worlds, switching between Neptune and dolphin activities so she can learn new skills and not repeat certifications from previous years. She joined the dolphins for their digital photography dives as well as underwater naturalist. The other dolphins have decided on group projects and have been using their dive skills to collect underwater data. Rebecca came up with the idea of researching fire coral growth on manmade vs. natural reefs for the girls’ project, while the boys studied sponge abundance vs. water quality. It was exciting to see the teamwork and communication they needed to collect their data while diving. Nate did and excellent job of using his new underwater photography knowledge to make research collections easier. The dolphins also got to participate in a turtle tagging expedition. It took a full team effort to corner the turtle and a spectacular grab from Will to obtain a turtle to tag. It was incredible to see how being involved in an ongoing research study effected the shipmates. Elena said that the turtle tagging solidified her resolve of becoming a marine biologist. Both Neptune and dolphin students have been working towards their night diver specialty certification. It has been one of Brattons favorite parts. Having the skills to be comfortable in the water at night allowed them to navigate out and back, finding tarpon and stingrays along the way. Any moments in between projects, studying for tests, sailing to dive sites, and breathing underwater has been filled with dance parties, beach outings and prank wars between boats. My personal favorite so far has been Lydia’s switch with her twin sister on Shazam! I can’t believe how quickly this trip has flown by, but I will never forget the amazing experiences and wonderful people I have met on my first ActionQuest adventure.
Posted: Sun, Jul 3, 2016
Day 19 – Race Day!
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
This morning I woke up to the smell of wonderful pancakes cooked by the best chefs on the boat, Doug and Hannah. As we ate breakfast, we had a laugh. We realized that Lydia and her twin sister, who lives on the boat Shazam, had switched the night before! After we cleaned up, we reunited the twins and went turtle tagging. We almost caught a turtle, but sadly, it got away. We returned to the boat and waited for the Neptunes who did a fun dive while we were turtle tagging. After everyone was onboard, we sailed to Road Town. We enjoyed some nice ice cream and some food before it was time to race! We grabbed Paul from the media team to join us in our battle for first place. The boat Catalinaville tried to intimidate us by holding up an inflatable flip-flop that they took from our stern the night before. We showed no fear and responded with an intimidation “Haka” dance. I think it worked since we were victorious in the dive side race.
Posted: Sat, Jul 2, 2016
Day 18 – Wreck Alley
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today we woke up and had cereal, and then sailed to wreck alley, I got to be at the helm for a large part of the sail. Once we got to wreck alley at Cooper Island, the dolphins dove (some were finishing certifications and some had fun dives) and the Neptunes had a lecture. After the lecture, the Neptunes learned to set up penetration lines on one of the wrecks. After a lunch of chicken salad wraps, the dolphins finished up their projects, and the Neptunes dove another one of the wrecks. Rebecca, Sarah and I then decided we also wanted to see the rest of the wrecks, so we also dove them. We then sailed to GHP. Diner is almost ready, and the dolphins are getting ready for their presentations while the Neptunes study for their exam. I’m writing this before dinner because Mike is coming to talk to us tonight. Today was a good day; wish us luck on our presentations and exams!
Posted: Fri, Jul 1, 2016
Day 17 – The Great Tortilla Race
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today we started nice and early and went to West End to have shore time. We got lots of snacks for the last couple days. When we got back to the boat, Taylor was dancing and he hit his butt and it was so funny, I almost peed myself. After we got back on the boat, we sailed to GHP. On our way, there were huge waves so we all laid on the front of the trampoline and tried to touch the water. There was a couple times, where we got completely submerged in water. It was so much fun and we all sang together between waves. Once in GHP we hooked a mooring ball above the wreck of the Fearless. The Neptunes then got to dive the Fearless for a second time as a fun dive and the dolphins did a digital photography dive on the beautiful wreck. The Fearless is actually the only wooden wreck in the BVI! After diving, Sydnei and I went slalom skiing and I got up on both sides and Sydnei was so close to getting up. While we skied, the rest of the crew anchored the boat back in GHP. By the time Sydnei and I got back, dinner was being cooked. Tonight was Mexican night! We soon realized that we didn’t have any tortillas. Catalinaville also didnt have any tortillas so we found ourselves fighting over the VHF for Shazams extra tortillas. Before we knew it, Taylor and Adam were chasing Marina in dinghies trying to get the tortillas. We were all laughing because Adam didn’t have a super dinghy and he was much slower and his dinghy died. Marina finally brought over tortillas, but when she tried to throw them up to us, one of them missed and went under the boat! I then had to jump over Aggressive (our super dinghy) and swim between the hulls to get the tortillas from under the boat. Once we had all the tortillas that we needed, we enjoyed Mexican night with Austin from Manic compression. My squeeze question tonight was “what is a voice that you do to make people laugh?” It was so funny to hear everyone share and it lead into a really funny clean up time. We’re now cleaning up and studying for our quiz tomorrow.