BVI: Session 2 - Pure Joy
Posted: Fri, Jul 28, 2017
Week Three Video Update for Session 2
Location: British Virgin Islands
Day 21- Staff Update
As the sun sets on our last evening together, we are proud of what our shipmates have achieved over the last three weeks. After initially setting sail, the group began bonding over games of Mafia/ werewolf led by Alex and his “presenter voice”. Entertainment was continually provided throughout the trip with Levi performing jumps on the trampoline and offering unique music to normal situations. After many group renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody, singing became a common practice with all accounts of Disney songs and Sofia’s special training session of Don’t Stop Believing, which had the whole boat in fits of giggles. By now many boundaries had been broken and Josh revealed his special talent for changing voice, tone, pitch, and frequency to the delight of the shipmates. It was clear how close the shipmates had grown when part way through the trip, a team effort made Darius’ 14th birthday totally unforgettable with morning wake up and singing and secretive red velvet cake baking. Around and about the boat, Isabelle could be counted on for the organisation of cooking and cleanup, with her in charge, the job got done! Molly would often be found in the powerhouse stimulating the day with typical conversations and kindness.
Seamanship improved throughout the session with the staff being able to let the shipmates take charge of the boat. Max improved his cleat knots and was always longlining the dinghys by the end of the trip. George grasped anchoring so well that he began to train everyone else. The whole boat could be relied upon for mooring and creating human chains when moving tanks and gear to and from the dinghys for shuttling. With the organization and boat awareness of Alina, loading the dinghys became hassle-free.
The whole boat improved their diving skills on many underwater adventures. Charlotte got over her great fear of night diving with amazing speed and ended up loving it. Sarah became an insatiable navigator underwater and assisted her dancing partner Clark who turned into the main underwater guides and safety supervisors among the shipmates. Our Neptunes became advanced divers whilst the Dolphins conducted and wrote up a truly impressive and important research project. We couldn’t have asked for a friendlier or more engaged group of individuals and just wish we had longer to spend time together. Until next time… best fishes!!
Posted: Thu, Jul 27, 2017
The Final Hours
Location: George M.
We all woke up today feeling sad that the trip was coming to an end but happy because we could all reunite with our families. After a cereal and oatmeal breakfast, we all put on PFDs and left Norman Island to go to our dive site, the Indians. Soon we were getting ready to jump in the sea. This dive was a self-navigated dive meaning that it was up to you and your buddy to navigate around the area and then safely get back to the boat. We saw all kinds of fish, so many that I am unable to name all of the species. Soon we were ascending and getting back on the boat. Mels was there to brief us on our cleaning of the boat. I imagine it will take a while. We are currently motoring back to West End where we will get some shore time and we have the final BBQ tonight. This has been an eye-opening experience for me and I can speak for the crew that this was an awesome session!
Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2017
Last Night on the Ocean
Today was full of reflections on the experiences of the past 19 days as well as creating as many new ones as possible as the trip draws to a close. We started with delicious pancakes which were followed by a dive of the Fearless, a shipwreck in GHP. All 13 shipmates were present on the dive which was self-navigated. It was exciting to see us all working together to navigate the dive site. It really felt like we’d become a cohesive unit. Next, we gathered back on the boat for an activity with AQ director Mike Meighan in which we chose black and white photos from a pile that we felt reflected one good thing about our personality, one thing we’d like to change about ourselves, and one lesson we’ve learned from this experience. The tears began to flow for some of us as we realized how close the trip is to the end. Afterwards, we sailed to Road Town for lunch and it was time to call home. In the afternoon, we had a long, relaxing sail. The late afternoon was filled with card games, talks about our favorite memories from the trip, and lots of laughter. We wrapped up the day with a yummy dinner and the ceremonial writing of the cards. The cards, a staple of AQ, give us the chance to tell each other all of the things we love and appreciate about one another. Overall, even though the day was bittersweet, it showed our boat has grown incredibly close.
Posted: Tue, Jul 25, 2017
We Got Certified!
Last night a team of brave souls did a night dive operation that consisted of putting Clark’s dirty underwear and moldy bread on to Happy Our’s anchor chain so that when they pulled it up in the morning, they would have a surprise. This morning everyone woke up enthusiastically to see Happy Our raising their anchor. After a great breakfast, we set sail to Blue Chromis reef where we went diving. The Dolphins did a fun dive while we, the Neptunes, did skills outside a wreck. After surfacing, we had a tasty lunch made by Isabelle, Alina, and Levi. After lunch, we went diving again on wreck alley. We penetrated the wreck this time. When we first went down, no one knew what to expect but we entered through a door and practiced using the reel to navigate the wreck. We saw a bunch of sardines and colorful fish. We also saw a HUGE southern stingray. We motored back to Great Harbor, Peter Island where we studied for our final Neptune exams. The Dolphins practiced their final presentations. We ate breakfast for dinner and while clean up was happening, we jammed to Taylor Swift. After we jammed, it was time to face the final obstacle of getting our certifications by taking our final test. Everyone passed and I got a 94! The grades were a perfect ending to a perfect day!