BVI: Session 2 - Happy Our
Posted: Tue, Jul 11, 2017
Today was exceptionally fun! The day began when the Neptune and Dolphin students split apart to engage in different activities relating to their specific programs. The Dolphins gathered on Luna Kahuna and went to the Sand Circles, a dive spot names for its distinct near perfect circles of sand. While diving we worked on our navigation skills, as it is easy to become disoriented underwater. Among a plethora of brightly colored fish, turtles and pufferfish were seen, making the dive both educational and beautiful. While this occurred, the Neptunes were engaging in fun activities ashore the stunning beaches of Virgin Gorda. After lunch, the two groups switched, with the Neptunes getting ready to dive into the crystal clear water to practice navigation and the Dolphins going ashore to examine the differences between the leeward and windward sides of the island. While the Neptunes learned how to navigate where they were going underwater, the Dolphins learned about how wind patterns affect waves and the biodiversity of different parts of the island. The day ended with a laughter-filled saltwater shower, a great dinner, and singing and dancing during cleanup. As per usual, the squeeze was both hilarious and heartfelt, allowing each person to introspectively view themselves and express their emotions in a judge-free environment. We then went to a night dive lecture that the whole dive side of AQ attended. Although the day started with AQ being divided, the night ended with an entire group of people from various backgrounds being united once again.
Posted: Mon, Jul 10, 2017
Today we woke up bright and early at 6:45 am to some nice music. We then had a quick breakfast consisting of strawberry banana yogurt and some bagels with cream cheese, then set sail for Cooper Island. Once we arrived at Cooper Island, we got out all of our dive gear and jumped in for a fun dive on Blue Chromis reef. We saw many cool fish, one of them being a tarpon (which is a very big fish). It was very nice to dive again considering most of us haven’t gone diving for a while (with the exception of yesterday’s check out dive. After the dive, it was time for lunch which we were all super hungry for after our dive. We had some very tasty PB&J sandwiches. After eating, we did a bit of a knowledge review for navigation and night diving. We then went for a swim before we moved over to Savanna Bay. During the two hour motor over, we shipmates played a couple fun games and when we arrived we got to do some water sports. Some of us learned how to water ski! We washed up and then ate some cheesy pasta for dinner. After dinner, Sam came over for a Lifeworks forum along with shipmates from two other boats on dive side (Luna Kahuna and Pure Joy). We talked about appreciating life and what we have and how we should focus on the good and not the bad. We are now heading off to bed. I’m excited for another fun day tomorrow!
Posted: Sun, Jul 9, 2017
First Day Under Way
This morning we woke up at the brisk hour of 6:30 am. We then had a wonderful breakfast of cereal and frozen milk. After breakfast, we cleaned up and headed to Pussers because AQ Director Mike was giving a presentation. Once that ended, we left the dock and set sail for Peter Island. By the time we arrived at Peter Island, we were sweating buckets and we all eagerly jumped in the water for our swim test. Once we finished our swim test, we set up our dive gear and eagerly jumped back into the crystal clear water for our first dive this summer! We got out, had a debrief and jumped back into the water for our first saltwater shower. After showers, we got dressed and gobbled up our dinner. We are cleaning up from dinner and prepping the boat for the dive side meeting tonight. All in all, today was amazing and I am very excited to get to know my crewmates better through this incredible adventure that we have just begun.
Posted: Sat, Jul 8, 2017
Happy Our Staff Update Day 1
We have been running around the AQ base here at West End to get ourselves all ready for our second group of shipmates of the summer. We could not be more excited to meet all of you and get this session started! Our beautiful vessel, Happy Our, has all the gear we need for an epic 3 weeks stowed away. Weve taken our dinghy and partner in crime, Sumo, for a few rips around the anchorage, just to make sure it runs as smooth as butter! Our lesson plans are set for our resident Neptunes (the advanced diving students) and Dolphins (the marine science students) and cannot wait to impart all our wisdom onto you! Our course is set, the charts are out, all we need is our crew! Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Here is an introduction to the staff of Happy Our:
Captain Cat was born and raised in West Texas and has since made it her mission to be closer to the sea. She spends as much time as she can on the water in her new home, Seattle, Washington. She became a PADI Scuba Instructor when she was 18 years old and has taught diving from the BVI all the way down to Grenada! Cat also holds both an IYT and USCG captain’s license as well as her Wilderness First Responder certification. Cat attended the University of Puget Sound and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors degree in International Political Economy. While at university she took a quick break to sail across the Atlantic with Seamester aboard Argo and was forever changed! She now plans her life around traveling and has been to all 7 continents. In the winter she teaches skiing in the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest and is attempting to teach herself to snowboard. She loves riding around on her longboard, listening to podcasts, and laughing at her own jokes. Cat plans to pursue a masters degree in teaching and hopes to inspire others with her love of science!
Justin is going into his senior year at Indiana University. While he studies Informatics with a cognate in business, his true passions are exploring the ocean and environmental awareness. He has been scuba diving for almost ten years and has had the opportunity to help a lot of people find joy in learning about the underwater world. Being an ActionQuest shipmate alumni, he can’t wait to facilitate the same experience he had to future students!
Lauren- Dive Instructor
Lauren grew up on the east coast of Florida where she enjoyed scuba diving with her family and developed a love for surfing. Hoping to get a taste of the west coast, Lauren worked a summer on Catalina Island as a skin diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding instructor. She then graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Marine Biology, during which she assisted with teaching open water diving at USF and worked as a trip leader for the universitys Outdoor Recreation program.She has since continued her diving education, and become an open water diving instructor. Lauren hops on any boat that floats, including sailboats in Fiji and the Caribbean, and research vessels in Florida, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia. Some of her land-based hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, and eating tacos.