BVI: Session 1 - Lifeworks - Spindrift II

Posted: Sun, Jul 7, 2013

Day 19 – In The Islands

Location: Norman Island
Author: Kathleen N.
Today we got to sleep in until 7:30. Then we got to enjoy our breakfast of cereal, oatmeal, and cake. After breakfast we went and motored to Peter Island. At Peter Island we went and worked with Therman. His family owns the island, but he still needs a lot of help with building stone walls and picking up trash around his cousin’s house, Conrad. After helping Therman we went to a resort and talked on the beach about the difference between needs and wants and about happiness. Then we had lunch of PB and J. Then we went and sailed to Norman Island. Here we had cheese and broccoli pasta for dinner.

Day 18 – VISAR Day

Location: Road Harbor, Tortola
Author: Kylie K.
After helping with training exercises yesterday for VISAR, we woke up early for a dinghy ride to the actual VISAR (Virgin Island Search and Rescue) base in Road Harbor on Tortola. Purely volunteer based, VISAR receives little funding from the government and relies mostly on people like us for upkeep around its base. When we all first got there, we were able to get a look around the base and see how the pulley system for the rescue boat worked, as well as learning a little bit more about the workings of the organization. Soon after this we started working both inside and outside the building, some going through inventory and painting shelves, and others weeding, raking gravel, and doing landscaping. After doing this for a while, we escaped into the air conditioning for lunch, where we were split into two groups: one group to dredge the channel that VISAR launches their rescue boat from, and another group (which I was in) to paint a huge storage container a lovely shade called “safety orange.” Armed with paint brushes, rollers, ladders, gloves, and several cans of industrial strength paint, we set to work in the hot sun next to the metal container. Meanwhile the other group got in the water of the channel with buckets. It was a full day of hard work but rewarding knowing we were helping out the volunteers of VISAR that work hard to save lives of people like us on the water.

Day 20 – Finale

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Sami S.
Now that waking up at 7 is considered sleeping in, today was no problem. Except for the underlying fact that today was our last day together as a boat family. The hike was steep but when we got to the top it was all worth it. The 360 view was a good conclusion to the adventures we had and the lasting experiences we hold as memories. After reading the goals we had set in the beginning, it was clear we accomplished each, due to everyone’s smiles as they read their writing from 20 days before with the feeling it was from forever ago. Torin then talked to us which is a talk we will always keep in mind. Once we returned home to Spindrift II the harsh reality set in that we had less than 24 hours together. After getting underway we began the long process of moving out of our house to return to our old one. After arriving and docking at West End we continued the long cleaning process which we all worked together equally to complete. After shore time we began prepping for the Bar-B-Que and a talk with Mike about the programs and what we learned here. The final squeeze question (a nightly dinner ritual) was if you could go back to one thing on this trip what would you go back too. Overall everyone wanted to return to the times we worked best together and when they found who they are and how they can change to make a difference. This trip has changed us all, and the fact is I don’t ever want to leave and many of my shipmates agree, but all good things must come to the end and this is only the beginning to the new horizon we can now see. I would not give these memories up for anything, not one laugh or moment where everyone was engaged in some crazy conversation on a never ending topic. If anything there’s only one thing I regret, and that’s simply blinking and missing a single moment.

Posted: Wed, Jul 3, 2013

From Plants to Rescue

Location: Road Town, Tortola
Author: Katrina H.
Today we sailed to West End, Tortola. It was a weird feeling to come back to that harbor because that is where we started the trip. It reminded me of all the amazing things that have happened on this trip so far. It is also heartbreaking to think we only have a few more days left. Once we got settled into the harbor we split into groups. Two people from each boat got to plant some mangroves. Me and most of the shipmates from both lifeworks boats went to a botanical garden. We helped clean the gardens. For example, raking, weeding, and picking up large dead plant pieces. After that we had pizza as a group. We worked in the gardens a bit longer. As we were working Elliot sailed to Road Town where we got back on the boat to quickly pick up money. We all had about two hours of shore time. Our boat went over to Grins after shore time. We helped make a training emergency situation for VISAR. The group is made up of all volunteers who serve almost as coast guard in the BVI. Kylie and Katie both pretended to be in situations. Like a spinal injury and having a finger pulled of by the anchor chain. Some people got to ride in the “super dinghy”. We had Mexican food tonight. Now we are finishing the night with fresh water showers on land.

Posted: Tue, Jul 2, 2013

Day 16 – Beetle Hunting!

Location: Green Cay
Author: Lydia D.
Today we visited the island Sandy Cay! Our mission today was to find a special beetle. On our hike we came across a bunch, they’re very small and shiny with blue and green coloring. It was so rewarding finding the beetles because they’re going to be used for scientific research later. Also the hike to the top of the island was so incredible, from one side of the island it looks simple but when you get to the top of it, it’s a giant drop off cliff with waves crashing all around. After we got back to the bottom of the island, I swam out and brought back the dinghy. Then we headed back to our boats to start lunch. After lunch we headed over to another island called Green Cay. Again we hiked and searched for beetles. On our hike we saw some amazing views, more beetles and a lot of hermit crabs and lizards. After our hike we went back down to the beach and swam for about an hour then we headed back to Grins and motored back to our anchorage. From finding these rare beetles or from getting Kit Kats from Sami and Carly, my day was so awesome and even though there was some rain, it didn’t seem to bring anyone down!

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