BVI: Session 1 - Changes
Posted: Sat, Jul 6, 2013
Location: West End
We woke up from a long night of writing cards to our shipmates, friends, and staff. We ate a hearty but hasty breakfast of cereal because we had a race to win. The race was from the place we spent the night, the Bight, to Road Town, and then back to Great Harbor. The race was about two hours long and we ended up coming in second, but had a lot of fun. Then it was time to sail to our final destination, West End. On our way we had a boat appreciation. Everyone on Changes was assigned a job and we cleaned every spot on Changes. When we docked at West End we finished cleaning and got shore time. During shore time we bought snacks, ate lunch at everyone’s favorite restaurant D’ Best Cup or Pusser’s, and spent a lot of time shopping. At about 6:30pm there is a BBQ at Pusser’s. We will have burgers, hot dogs, and salad. We will enjoy eating and spending our last night as a family together. No one wants to sleep tonight, so we will probably stay up all night talking, gossiping, and laughing about our time at AQ. In the morning we will all part ways and go home, which I’m pretty excited for. I will always remember this boat in particular. In all of my years at AQ this boat has definitely been my favorite. I’ve made a second family and will miss all of them.
Staff Update Day 20
Location: West End
Every journey begins with a single sail (or something to that effect!), and so ends my first sailing venture with ActionQuest. What a journey- an adventure it’s been! I have been a diving professional for 11 years, and so I was very excited to be placed with a group of 12 PADI Divemaster apprentices; to help transform them into dive superstars. Changes was not like being in class; instead it was a three week team building exercise, which every shipmate was instrumental in, without exception. Chef Charter kept our bellies satisfied, David, Alex, and Matt amused us with witty stories and mischievous smiles, Sal always had the right tool for any situation, Ethan kept us grounded, and Ivan stopped the team from settling for less than the best. The girls, Alora, Emelia, Maggie, and Rachael, kept us fit with dance workouts and smiles with their infectious bubbliness, and Raul laughed a lot, loudly, in a high pitched voice, whilst all of the above! But the team only worked because everybody could, and would, do all of these things. Everybody was a dance instructor, we all were chefs with specialties, your next smile could be instigated by anybody, and despite such a diverse mix of personalities on board, nobody was ever excluded. It was great working alongside Monika and Jake, and fortunately we get to do the same next session. We all agree that we would happily keep everybody else on board too. It’s a family and it will be hard being apart.
Posted: Fri, Jul 5, 2013
Last Night On The Water
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
In what seems like the blink of an eye, we are already at day 19 of our voyage; our last night out at sea before returning to port. So much has passed in such short time a nearly instantaneous 20 days! But we are all so happy we have had this experience. Every moment has been enjoyed, and we are at the last moment of mastering dive! (As Divemasters…) What a day it has been as well! We started off with an early trip to dive side for some search and recovery scenarios and rescue skills with the rescue students on Love of My Life. They impressed us with their professionalism, but we weren’t too shabby ourselves (we just needed to get the rhythm with those rescue breaths and gear removal). After that, the majority of us headed to Road Town for some awesome shore leave, while a team made up of myself, Emelia, Alora, and Sensei Jake headed over to Mike’s boat Pelican Pat to help Alora with some missed dive skills (thanks to an ear infection). Jake assigned Emelia and I some problems to demonstrate as “open water students” while Alora acted as our DM to help fix them. She did an excellent job with the skills demonstrated, and we both knocked the “stress test,” that dreaded display of equipment exchange, right out of the ballpark! We then finished a nice morning of diving with a lunch graciously delivered by Mike from shore before setting off to the Bight on Norman Island. We then reunited with the Changes crew once again, who had a fantastic day at Road Town, showered, and got some snacks from a roaming snack boat called Deliverance. At the moment we are preparing our dinner and having a mini dance party while the staff members are at a meeting. But most of all, we are awaiting that solemn moment of which we must write cards to our shipmates, which will signify our voyage is truly coming to a close… At the same time, if there is anything AQ has taught us, it’s to live in the moment. So as the night closes in, we look off to a setting sun for our last time on the water, and I’m sure we are all extraordinarily happy that we have shared this epic experience.
Posted: Thu, Jul 4, 2013
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today was a really important day for all of us. We woke up at Great Harbor, Peter Island and we left for Salt Island before breakfast. As we motored to Salt Island we ate breakfast and prepared to dive the Rhone. The Rhone is an immense sunken ship from the 1800s. It is the main attraction for scuba divers in the BVI. The moment we got there we went into the water so we could explore the bow of the ship and map it as well. Mapping a dive site is part of the divemaster program. Once we finished that we split ourselves up into several groups to prepare for the rest of the day. Each group was in charge of briefing and leading sets of scuba students, both open water and advanced open water. It was a very challenging and important part of the program, but in the end it was really fun. After all that was over, we went on a hike on Salt Island, a small yet beautiful, desolate island. We saw a few salt ponds and some goats. We then went back to the beach where we spent some time swimming around. We then got ready and left to go back to Peter Island. We are now anchored and getting ready for dinner, but this night will be different because another boat, Astrid, will be joining us for a two boat dinner. I can’t believe we are this close to finishing the session. This has been the most fun I’ve had in a long time and I don’t want it to end. I will surely miss everyone on this boat.
Posted: Wed, Jul 3, 2013
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today was a very busy day that began with a bowl of cereal and ended with a night dive on the Fearless at Peter Island. The first activity of the day was a race from Sandy Spit (a scene from the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie was filmed there) all the way to West End. We had to postpone the race this morning until the looming black cloud that was overhead passed us. During the race Changes had a little competition with Astrid, ducking behind each others boats and throwing water balloons at each other! Once we arrived at West End many of us enjoyed meals and shopping on shore. We then raced from West End to Peter Island. The boat really heeled over once we picked up momentum! After a big day of great sailing, we all shared a tasty Mexican meal. Then we had a fantastic night dive over the wreck of the Fearless.