BVI: Session 3 - La Bella Vita

Posted: Tue, Aug 15, 2017

Bella Vita Staff Update Day 17

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Shona, Mike, and Hannah
Here we are back in West End! It’s amazing how quickly the past 17 days have gone by. It seems like just yesterday we were pulling off the dock with 15 strangers, but here we are saying goodbye to our happy, crazy family. Ella- the past three days haven’t been the same without your vibrant smile. Natalie, your knowledge, and helpfulness were always appreciated onboard. Kyle, your leadership, and shenanigans constantly brought a smile to our faces. Alex, your positivity, and photography skills have saved our butts on multiple occasions when we forgot to take them ourselves. Chrissy, your singing always brought joy to the boat and we hope to hear you on the airwaves someday. Russell, your inquisitive nature, and questions always made us rethink the things we thought we knew. Declan, your kind heart, and storytelling brought us through a lot of the early rainstorms. Rayyan, your goofy attitude, and easy laugh always lightened the mood onboard and your love/hate relationship with the ‘cudas was always hilarious. Heather, your love for your shipmates was inspiring, and you were such a strong shoulder for them to lean on. Nate, your jokes were fantastic and even though your Questing may have taken you away from us at times, you were always such a huge presence for us onboard. Jackson, your easygoing attitude, and love for diving and sailing were contagious onboard. AJ, you’re such a great friend and companion to all of us onboard, it wouldn’t have been the same without you. We all started this trip unsure of ourselves and each other, but it only took a few days, a little rain, and a whole lot of fun for us to come together in a way we’ll never forget. With love, the Bella Vita crew. date:Aug 15, 2017

Posted: Mon, Aug 14, 2017

Last Day As La Bella Vita

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Chrissy L.
I woke up in the blue lagoon for a long, tiring, and heartfelt night. I quickly ate some cereal and went with Shona to the skipper’s meeting about the last race, which of course we won the last one as well. After the meeting, Shona and I went back to the boat and had a briefing. I told everyone how the race was set up and I took the helm to get us to the starting line. It was honestly a bit stressful but still an amazing experience. Then my girl Natalie took the helm for the rest of the time. Ten of us sat on the high side near the sails. Alex and Jackson got soaking we at first. Then we had to go back to the cockpit then go back to the bow. So Declan, Heather, and I got as wet as Alex did. When our boat was approaching the finish line we sang “We Are The Champions” and our dysfunctional family cheered. Now we all start to move out and realize that our trip over. Packing up the whole boat is really going to hit all eleven shipmates hearts and three instructors that spent 80 days in this beautiful place. As soon as we step off this boat tomorrow, all heading back to reality, we will all remember our second home and family, La Bella Vita. date: Aug 14, 2017

Road Town

Location: The Bight, Norman Island
Author: Nathan H.
Today we started the morning in Great Harbor, where I helped paint a man’s house with GoBeyond. While I was gone the rest of the boat went waterskiing. Once we were done we made way for Road Town, the capital of the BVI. We spent lunch there and talked with other boats. After lunch, we set sail for Norman Island without the help of our staff. We spent the entire sail on one tack. Then we had to drop the anchor all by ourselves. The staff members then went to a meeting and we are cooking dinner. date:Aug 13, 2017

Posted: Sun, Aug 13, 2017

Beauty In The Highs, But Also In The Lows

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Natalie M.
Today, perhaps more than any day, us Bellas reached breathtaking heights and some challenging yet moving lows as well, both literally, but also figuratively. The day began bittersweet with a colorful sunrise and some delicious oatmeal, but also unfortunately with the unexpected early departure of one of our shipmates, the lovely Ella. Some warm hugs, farewells, and the discovery that our boat had been renamed la Brola Vita (the result of what may or may not be a little prank war we’ve got going on). Later we motored off to Salt Island, home of our final dive site. Upon arriving at our destination all our sailors took their IYT crew and advanced sailing exams. Many of us found the tests to be more on the difficult side but we all managed to power through them. Following a quick PB&J sandwich break the Bellas geared up for our final dive exploring the RMS Rhone. There wasn’t as much exciting sea life to see what was actually one of our deepest dives, but diving through a sunken ship was actually one of the coolest and most surreal experiences we’ve had yet! There’s really nothing quite like swimming and breathing at the bottom of the ocean as newly certified divers. Literally, we had reached one of our trips lowest lows, and although it was no easy time getting there, it was amazing to see such a rare and beautiful place. What I found so amazing about today though, is that only a few hours after we were 55ft below the surface, more than half of our boat was looking down on our home for the past weeks up at the top of a small mountain on Salt Island. The view was purely breathtaking, and the difficult time we had climbing the mountain made it all the more worthwhile. Being up on that mountain was definitely a high point of this trip and a wonderful way to begin the close of a day filled with highs, lows, and an amazing time in between. date: Aug 12, 2017

Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2017

Sail Race Day

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Heather G.
This morning began with the sun peaking over the mountains and glistening onto the turquoise water. Our simple breakfast was complemented with the tropical views surrounding our boat, and before we knew it, it was time to start the day. As skipper, I was at the helm of the boat as we sailed from Sandy Spit back to where we began our journey to the West End of Tortola. We stopped for a delicious lunch together and had some time to shop around and pick up a few snacks for the remaining days on the boat. Everywhere we’ve gone had had the most amazing views, and being back in Tortola reminded us all of that. The pastel-painted shops stand at the base of massive green mountains, while palm trees sprout up into the sky everywhere you look. Once we were all back on the boat, we prepared the boat for the sailing race ahead of us to Peter Island. Natalie was at the helm for the whole race, while everyone else helped with the sails in the cockpit or leaned over one side of the boat to help us sail faster. We started the race lined up with the other five boats, and although the countdown started while we were still getting into place, we gained back our lost time by sailing as fast as we could. It was exhilarating to be on either side of the bow depending if we were in a port or a starboard tack. The race ended as we passed through the finish line in first place! We had won the race after all of the hard work we put in, and even after our traveler broke we still pushed through to the end. Once anchored after the race, we prepared dinner which was Mexican food and ate it happily after a long day of hard work. Now, to conclude our day, we’re having an evening activity called Lifeworks Forum. date:Aug 11, 2017

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