BVI: Session 1 - Squeaky Brat
Posted: Tue, Jun 20, 2017
First Scuba Dive
Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
Today was so much fun! The first thing we did was eat breakfast, which was oatmeal. Then we got ready for our first scuba dive of this trip, which was my first time. We took the tiny boat to the beach of Virgin Gorda. When we got there they suited us for our gear, then we got off into the water. A few moments later, I my first breath underwater, which was so amazing. We were in the water for about a little over and hour practicing skills we would need for other dives. We learned how to blow water out of our masks, equalize our ears, and so much more. After we came in from the water, we ate lunch, which were sandwiches. Later, we went back to the beach to windsurf. The wind was good, but it was really hard. Soon after, we went knee boarding, wake boarding and waterskiing. I did knee boarding, which was really fun, and I stayed up for a long time. Within went back to the beach and stayed there for a while. We saw a tiny navy blue shark in the water, which was scary and cool at the same time. Later, we went back to the sailboat to eat dinner, which was beef stroganoff. The last thing we did was Lifeworks Forum, which is where we learn life skills. I am so excited for the days ahead of us and I cant wait to try new things!
Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2017
Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
Day 4 started late after everyone slept in. However, with the great teamwork of SqueakyB we got the anchor up from Savannah Bay. As we motored to the Baths, Virgin Gorda, we ate yogurt and bagels. Once we got near the beach, we picked up a mooring ball. After that, Griff (Griffin) drove us to the edge of the Swim Zone. Then we swam to Devils Bay (part of the Baths). From there on we could explore any part of the beach. Personally, my favorite part of the day was rock jumping. We got to jump into the ocean with our friends. By 10:15, we were loading back on the boat. From there, we went to the dock and successfully did our first docking. Then we called our parents and updated them on our trip. After that, we ate at Chez Bamboo. The food was amazing. We later walked around Spanishtown and bought whatever we desired. At 1:45 sharp, we were off. The wind was very strong so we put the sail up. From there, we all tried our first jibe. Even though the trip was short back to Savanna Bay, we all had a blast. The day was amazing and I will remember it for a very long time. I cannot wait for the coming days ahead!
Posted: Sun, Jun 18, 2017
Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
This morning at 7am sharp, the Squeakybrat family groggily got out of bed to the smell of scrambled eggs and cheerios. Everyone was spilling the cheerios, and Skyrats, a.k.a seagulls, came and pooped all over our boat! We spent some time shooing them away, and then departed for the first half of our five-hour voyage. It was lunchtime when we reached our checkpoint, and we prepared PB&J sandwiches before a refreshing swim. We all dried off and left for the second part of our voyage. We arrived at Savanna Bay around two hours later. There, we all went knee boarding, wakeboarding and waterskiing. We settled down later for a dive chat, and went to bed, tired and comfy.
Posted: Sat, Jun 17, 2017
This morning, around 7, I woke up to very pleasant chats with my new friends. About half the boat was still asleep and it was a beautiful morning in the BVI, with the rain from the middle of the night. We had breakfast, cereal and some fruit to tide us over to lunch. Before lunch, we went on our first sail off the dock for about 1 hour. Once we got to our destination we took our swim test, thankfully everyone passed. Once we all finished the test we were able to jump in all we want. We all got in the crystal water until we got a confirmation to go snorkeling! Two trips were made to another boat to get our gear and get in! I forgot to mention that its Bellas Birthday today! We were all in our snorkels and were ready to get in the water. There were many fish and coral, and we cant forget sea urchin! Once all done we come to the boat for our first sea shower! It was an interesting experience, but it worked! Dinner, Sloppy Joes, was very good with a tall glass of water. Since its Bellas Birthday we all surprised her with cookies! So I am looking forward, we are looking forward, to a great fun time at ActionQuest!
Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2017
Squeakybrat Staff Update Day 1
Location: West End, Tortola
After a lot of preparation, the time has finally come for the shipmates to arrive. We are so excited to welcome them onboard our boats and begin sharing our love of the ocean with them! For the past week, Griffin, Emma and Elise, have had rigorous staff training. ActionQuest is unique because our staff training includes not only “hard skills” such as how to operate the ActionQuest dinghies, but also has a focus on how to facilitate a caring environment onboard that nurtures leadership and independence in shipmates. Onboard Squeakybrat, a beautiful 51 foot monohull, we will have 12 and 13 year old shipmates from the Vega, Barracuda, and Carina programs. That means that some shipmates will be earning their Open Water Diver and Basic Sailing certifications, while other shipmates will be earning their Advanced Open Water Diver and Advanced Sailing certifications. We are looking forward to 21 days of learning, new friendships, and fantastic adventures out there on the waves of the sea!
Here is an introduction to the crew of Squeakybrat:
Born and raised in Nebraska, Griffin was not accustomed to the water until attending a camp in northern Minnesota at the age of eight. This is where he learned to sail and fell in love with the adventure and beauty of the water. The fall after graduating high school, he turned down acceptance to many universities to follow his dreams of sailing with Seamester. After completing the program he moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he earned his RYA Yachtmaster 200 ton. In the last year, Griffin became an EMT. Griffin is a passionate sportsman who enjoys hunting, tennis and golf. This is Griffin’s second summer with ActionQuest and he is looking forward to another fun-filled summer.
Emma- dive instructor/mate/EMT
This will be Emma’s second time as a staff member in the BVI, but her 5th time spending a summer with GXG programs! After getting her advanced open water diver certification with ActionQuest in 2011, she fell in love and decided to live a lifestyle that would allow her to dive and sail as much as she could. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean with Seamester, she went to work in Boston for a year in a dive shop. Leaving the frigid conditions there, she worked in the BVI last summer as a mate/ EMT. After this, she went to Mexico to work on a marine conservation base, focusing on corals and juvenile fish. She’s back this year as a dive instructor and is so happy to have the chance to dive again in the BVI! When she’s not at AQ she enjoys nice vegan food, playing piano and hanging out with her cats.
Elise has always been drawn to the waters and the wild places of the world. From the jungles of India to the magnificent Himalayas of Nepal, to the cerulean waters of the Caribbean, Elises passion for nature, social justice, and human connections has lead her all over the world. She spent her last year teaching English and ballet at a nonprofit school in Northeastern India. Elise is a certified Emergency Medical Technician, and in addition to sailing and diving, loves trekking, traveling and painting. In the fall Elise will return to the states to attend Bowdoin College.