BVI: Session 3 - Happy Our

Posted: Tue, Aug 15, 2017

Staff Update!

Location: Oscar, Cat, and Lauren
Author: West End, Tortola
Today marks the end of an amazing session and an incredible summer altogether. As our shipmates hopped on to the ferry this morning after we all said our goodbyes, the three of us could not stop talking about all of the memories that were made over the past 17 days and how much everyone grew and transformed into a team. Lindsay finished her open water diving certification Day 2 of the trip by killing it during her open water dives and she was soon already working on her specialty certifications. Her, Gabrielle, Sam, and Molly were a part of the Dolphin team that never seemed to stop studying and was always ready to learn more about the marine environment. Molly improved her watersports skills and even had a try at driving the dinghy during a turtle tagging adventure. From the beginning, Rachel played an essential role in team bonding and made sure that everyone was getting along and working together. Lou always left the group in awe when he announced a profound quote or thought during dinner or the daily squeeze. Benny spent the most time at the helm and always made sure to be a part of getting our vessel from point A to point B. Tyler was on point with his diving skills and was always looking forward to the next wreck dive! Marissa lit up the room with her human sunshine and she stepped up whenever things needed to be done on the boat. Olivia and Cat have been diving together since their open water and continued their training in the rescue program this session where they always brought laughter, positive attitudes, and a strong work ethic to become the best rescue divers possible. Reily was always making funny faces and was one of the fastest rescue students to set up the O2 tank during their rescue scenarios. All of our shipmates even came together for an epic sail race where we were neck in neck with Luna Kahuna as we rounded the corner to the finish line. Everyone was a part of steering our team to our own personal victory and as we look back on these last two weeks we are humbled and so proud of the individuals that we got the opportunity to live alongside and finish out 2017 with a bang!

Thank you for everything and catch you in 2018!

Your crew,
Oscar, Cat, and Lauren

Posted: Mon, Aug 14, 2017

Twas a Success

Location: Lou G.
Author: West End, Tortola
This trip was a success. I was lucky enough to end up being the skipper on the last day. So now I have to try and do this trip justice with just words and hopefully Oscar’s incredible pictures. This trip meant something different to each person on board. There have been tears and there has been laughter. For me, this trip has been about taking a deep breath and chilling out. For others, it has been empowering for them because of the rigorous nature that this trip is. I truly believe that we all ultimately fell in love with the experience here. Every single second of our seventeen 24-hour days, have been spent in bliss. Most of the students showed up strangers, but willing to be open. Now as I write this at the end of our voyage, no one is a stranger but we are still open. This has been a powerful experience in just that fact. There are an infinite amount of outcomes that could’ve happened. The one that did happen though is just right. We are all comfortable with each other, we have all learned countless things, but most importantly we are all happy. I can speak for the entire group on this one. The experiences the people have run into will not be short-lived. These are going to be cherished memories that only the people on board will know the full magnitude of what we have been a part of. It has been fun, sad, happy, and scary, but ultimately it has been loved.

Posted: Sun, Aug 13, 2017

Last Day on The Water

Location: Marissa M.
Author: The Bight, Norman Island
This morning we began our last full day on the water with pancakes and Nutella. We spent the morning making the absolute most of the little time left here in the BVIs with water skiing or a scuba dance party on the bottom of the ocean. We even swam to Squeaky Brat, one of the AQ sail side boats to play on their boom swing and meet some of the Vega students. We then headed to Road Town for our last port stop of the trip. We switched out some scuba tanks, ate lunch, and then went back to Happy Our to prepare for the sailing race! We sailed to the Indians in the race against the other two dive side boats and we all rotated between steering the boat. We (arguably) came in second place but had an amazing time sailing one final time. While the staff had a meeting, we all made dinner and began preparing for our last day. After hanging out under the stars as one big group, now it’s time to write each other cards before our final day. We are all holding on to and cherishing every last moment.

Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2017

Sea Turtle Encounter & Passing Our Tests

Location: Gabrielle P.
Author: Great Harbor, Peter Island
This morning after a breakfast of cinnamon French toast we sailed to our first dive site at Blue Chromis Reef for a fun dive. For the rest of the morning, the dolphin students finished up their final research projects while Neptune and rescue students studied for their upcoming tests. In the afternoon, some of us jumped in for another reef dive (and saw a sea turtle!) and others dove the Kissing Wrecks nearby. All the rescues passed their tests and are now finished with their certifications! In the evening, dolphin students all met together to share presentations and learn about what each other studied on their research dives- from projects on brain coral communities to damselfish populations to coastal development in the BVIs. Today was a great day and all students accomplished a lot while enjoying some beautiful dives!

Posted: Fri, Aug 11, 2017

Research and Rescue!

Location: Molly S.
Author: Great Harbor, Peter Island
After waking up to a beautiful sunrise and eating our breakfast, Happy Our set sail from Green Cay back to where this journey started in West End, Tortola. After docking, all of the shipmates were given back their phones and spending money for the next few hours. During this time, the students had the opportunity to call home, buy souvenirs, and in most cases, buy more snacks for the remaining few days of the trip. At the port we were also joined by some of the boats from sail side allowing us to have some time socializing with people we can’t spend as much time with. Once all of the shipmates had returned to the boat, we sailed all the way to GHP. On the way, the Rescues reviewed for their EFR exam this evening while Dolphins prepared for their last project dive. When we arrived, Rescues moved to Pure Joy for a study session while Neptunes and Dolphins splashed for their dive. Afterwards, Dolphins finished off their projects and Rescues continued to study. We ate a brilliant breakfast for dinner. After the daily squeeze and dinner, the Rescues finally took their exam and the Dolphins and Neptunes had a study/project night. This relaxing evening was finished off with saltwater showers and then we all went to bed so that we would be well-rested for an exciting day tomorrow.

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