BVI: Session 2 - Mary Jane
Posted: Mon, Jul 30, 2012
Today is a sad day, not because anything bad happened. Simply because today is the last day and I have the privilege of writing the last real day blog. So I’m going to make it good. Today started off bright and early, mostly because we needed to clean the boat (which had recently become pretty nasty due to multiple failures of the Caribbean triple crown, which happens to be the cinnamon challenge plus the saltine challenge plus a nice refreshing glass of maple syrup. Don’t underestimate it people, it’s touch stuff). Anyways, after a quick spring clean (and after seeing an enormous sea turtle) it was time for a race. Yes, the final race to West End, the port we started at. So the boats lined up and the race began! MJ was in the lead right away! It was smooth sailing for the first half an hour and we were leaving all the other boats in the dust (or should I say wake). But then a squall hit. Winds were blowing and it was raining really hard. At that moment we could have turned around, but the crew of MJ isn’t going down that easy! We were the only ship that kept pushing through the squall, even when everyone turned around. Yup, in my eyes we all won today. So as we come close to docking at West End I know what the rest of the day will be like. We’ll house-keep and clean and maybe eat lunch at port, and afterwards we’ll say goodbye to everyone at the final BBQ and we’ll all probably shed a few tears. And we’re coming home to all of our lovely families which we missed very much. In the end I guess this ending is kinda bittersweet. We made friends we are going to miss, but we’re excited to be coming home. So on behalf of all of us shipmates, thank you ActionQuest! We’ll be back!
Staff Update Day 20
Location: West End, Tortola
Three weeks ago twelve shipmates boarded MJ, along with three staff members. We all introduced ourselves slowly, letting go of the nerves and anxiety surrounding a new experienc. Slowly over three weeks we have gone from strangers to friends and family. Our boat has experienced amazing things together, like a wreck dive of a plane, the wreck of the Rhone, and a few night dives. We have ten newly certified advanced divers. Jack, Jonathan, Ben, JP, Jeromy, Charlie, Heather, Morgan, Chloe, and Raya have taken their exam and completetd their certification requirements. They couldn’t be more excited. Ian, an already certified advanced diver, has gotten the chance to improve his skills and knowledge while helping his fellow shipmates. He has loved the dives on MJ and is having a great time. Amanda is now a newly certified open water diver. Being newly certified, she didn’t get to dive with the rest of the shipmates in the beginning of the trip. She is thrilled that she can now join MJ and has been having a blast. Our boat has never seemed closer and we are all shocked by how quickly these weeks have flown by. Although we are all still enjoying ourselves every day, the sadness that hints at the approaching goodbyes is creeping. We are having such a good time that nobody wants to go home yet. Jeromy has been our boat photographer, so we hold onto those memories. And when we do begin to feel sad, Ben tells us jokes and stories to make us laugh and forget that it’s ending. As everyone returns home soon, they will all be returning with new skills. Jack, Jon, JP, and Charlie are now experts at tying hammocks, while Heather and Chloe have become professional pancake chefs, and Morgan and Raya have become expert deckies cleaning their hearts out. This has been an amazing experience for the shipmates and staff alike. MJ has had a fantastic crew that we hope will be friends forever and will hold onto all the memories and stories that have accumulated over the past three weeks.
Posted: Sun, Jul 29, 2012
Today started out as any other day. We got up at 7am and ate breakfast. When we were done cleaning we got ready to set sail. I was really excited for today because we were diving at the Rhone, which is a huge ship that had sunk a hundred years ago. I got to motor there, which was only 30 minutes away. The Rhone was really cool, it had a huge propeller which was one of the first bronze propellers. There was also a lot of fish and coral which were attached to the ship. The ship was broken down in the 1950s because it was too big. It was sticking out of the water 50 feet, so it was huge. After the dive we went for a hike on Salt Island. I liked it because there was a lot of great photos. I was kind of nervous after the hike because we had a sailing test. The sailing test was much easier than I thought it was. But before we did the test me and Jack went down diving and I went down to 20 feet for 2 minutes. So I would say that it was a really good day. I am just sad it’s almost done.
Posted: Sat, Jul 28, 2012
Today was slow and easy compare to yesterday’s races. We woke up a bit later than normal and waltzed up the companionway for an array of pancakes. We all had the choice of normal pancakes, chocolate chip, banana, or chocolate and banana. Most of us had three, but some of us (including myself) had four or five because they were just that good! After our dishies washed all of our plates, forks, batter bowls, ladles, and pans, Greg picked us up in groups to go kneeboarding for the last time. While some of us ate the other half of us read, most of us for the first time this trip! It was great. Once the boat was cleaned and ready to operate, I was given the task to motorsail the boat- mainly independently- to Road Town. We spent about two hours there before we sailed back to Peter Island. We showered, ate, then taught each other how to dance. It was really nice to have simple bonding time with the whole boat. We talked to Tanis Marie a little, then I left to do my last night dive for my certification. Overall this day has just been fun and amazing!
Posted: Fri, Jul 27, 2012
Today went fast! We started off with oatmeal for breakfast, and then I left with Greg to Spindrift for a skipper’s meeting. After they told us where we were going (West End), and our race lineup (we were #6), we got racing! The race was a little stressful, but still lots of fun, and we got in second place! Just after we crossed the finish line we decided to tease the boats coming in by sailing in hammocks! It was really funny! Then we got a few hours in West End to relax and eat lunch (really yummy), and then went back to racing! This was a different race though, because it involved much more tacking and it was much longer. We had a really good race, lots of heeling over and going really fast, and that technique landed us in second place! Again! We started dinner soon after we got to Peter Island, which was an awesome Mexican night done by JP and Charlie. Afterwards we went on another night dive, which was loads of fun, and there was a lot of bioluminescence. When we got out we took showers and then we were all so exhausted and we crashed wherever we could fit. Awesome day!