BVI: Session 1 - Mary Morgan III

Posted: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

Staff Update Day 20

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Sam, Meghann, & Mike

What an adventure the past 20 days have been!With the way our boat has developed over these past 3 weeks, arrival day seems like it was months ago.Connor, Juan and Zack just presented their research project on the growth of Algae, Sponge and Hard/Soft coral at increasing depths.Our Dolphin instructor Mike was very impressed with their presentation and the overall knowledge they displayed during their marine science course.

As of this morning, we now also have 8 newly certified Rescue divers on board Mary Morgan.Ella and Kelly led the charge at 7am, after they discovered two unresponsive divers of our starboard beam in one of the infamous rescue scenarios.Both hopped in the water and did an excellent job giving rescue breaths and towing the divers back to the boat.In our 8am scenario, JJ and Ethan were first on the scene, while Tucker, Gaby, Laurel and Chloe hopped in shortly after to provide support while also getting oxygen first aid prepared and helping egress the divers.Watching our team of 8 rescue divers develop over the past 20 days has been such a pleasure.The improvement in their diving skills, communication and teamwork have grown leaps and bounds and its so impressive to see how quickly they learn and develop.

Beyond the marine science and rescue skills, getting to spend this time with such a special group of people has been such aprivilege.Each of them brings such a unique dynamic to the group and I both learn from and am inspired by them every day.Connor always has an interesting story to share with the group, whether its his countless fishing tales or some embarrassing stories from childhood (poo trauma anyone?)Gaby is so introspective and always has something interesting to share.Tucker has incredible comedic timing and often leaves all of us in stitches.Kelly and Ella always seem to be singing and dancing and generally making our world a happier place.Chloe leads the charge on intellectual conversation and is full of interesting information.Juan is our ball of energy and always picks us up when we need a boost.Laurel always gets things going in the morning, up at 6am and starting us on the right track.Ethan is always on top of our boat operations, leading our sail and anchor teams.Zack is our underwater comedian and makes everyone’s dives more entertaining and JJ always take lead on the rescue scenarios, managing all the chaos with his leadership skills.Overall, these students have created such an incredible experience for everyone on board, our staff included. While it has been such a joy seeing them develop over the past 3 weeks, its sad to realize that our time has come to an end and our family will all be heading in different directions tomorrow morning.On the way home I know all of our heads will be full of incredible memories, all accompanied to the sound ofand the trumpets they go

Posted: Sat, Jul 5, 2014

Day 19: Race Day

Location: The Bight, Norman Island
Author: Zack S.
Today, after waking up while the pancakes were coking, cries for help came from the water and a rescue scenario started. Since Ella and Kelly were the only ones who got in the water, they were the first to get their rescue certifications. After breakfast Ella and Kelly were the victims in the next scenario where the rest of the rescues got certified. Then the rescues and Juan dived the Rhone anchor while the rest of the Dolphins went turtle tagging. Everyone then returned to our boat and we motored to Road Town for lunch. After lunch we had our race. After a good start, we suddenly went through a squall. Rain started pouring down, the wind picked up and we couldn’t see anything. The race was called off as we got into the heart of the squall. It all cleared up after around 15 minutes and we sailed over to The Bight on Norman Island. We showered, had dinner and are now preparing for closing program.

Posted: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

Day 18: Waiting for Rescue

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: JJ S.
We woke up in a nest of hammocks. After we waved our way out, we all stared at the water searching for a rescue scenario. We were never greeted with a rescue victim but that only made us more paranoid. We had a nice cereal breakfast and then sailed to Blue Chromis Reef. We all had a nice relaxing dive and were able to observe many creatures. After lunch we heard screams for help and sprung into action. We then rescued three divers and completed the hectic scenario with few mistakes. After “saving” some lives we were able to go on another dive. Then we sailed back to GHP and spent the rest of the day studying and preparing for tonight’s activities. The rescue divers have their final exam and will be close to fully certified. The Dolphins are giving their final presentation and are going to explain their research. We hope you wish us luck!

Posted: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

Day 17: Mary Mo’

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Connor W.
Early this morning a brief rain storm rolled through and forced everyone who was sleeping outside to rush in and sleep on the blue lagoon. After we listened to the morning playlist we had an oatmeal breakfast on our way to West End. We had a few hours of shore time at West End where we could contact anyone we wanted as well as purchase anything we wanted. After shore time we sailed for a few hours and arrived at GHP. As soon as we arrived we had a fun dive where we played with eggs, saw a spotted eagle ray and played with an arrow crab. Once that ended a few of us went out to wakeboard. Afterward we prepared the Mexican night dinner and cleaned up for Mike to arrive for dinner. After dinner we played a game with black and white postcards where we learned a lot of information about each other based on which cards we chose and the reason behind. After that game everyone cleaned up and performed his/her cleanup tasks. All in all it was an awesome day.

Posted: Wed, Jul 2, 2014

Day 16: Diver, Diver!

Location: Sandy Spit, Green Cay
Author: Gaby R.
We started off the day with a very fun and memorable breakfast in which we ate pancakes. Sadly we were all out of Nutella, but I think it was definitely one of the best breakfasts of the entire trip. After cleanup we motored over the Sandy Spit where the dolphins had their final research dive and the Rescues had their final search and recovery dive. During the search and recovery dive my group found itself so far outside of the search area we had to be recalled but we saw an awesome turtle and completed it efficiently on our second try. After lunch we were surprised with the first of the rescue scenarios. We had to rescue three divers: one panicking at the surface, one in passive panic that turned into active panic at the surface and one unresponsive. For our first scenario I think we did pretty well. Our biggest flaws were in organization and providing oxygen correctly. The scenario truly put our skills to the test and made us aware of our strengths and weaknesses. After reviewing what we did wrong and what we did right, we were again given the option to dive the Playgrounds. Most of us decided to go because it is such a beautiful dive site. Some of us saw sharks and others, a scorpionfish. I saw a cool spotted drum and a trunkfish, among other things. After the dive we did have some time to relax thankfully. We just finished eating dinner, which is Sam’s favorite dinner of the trip. We are also going to have a Lifeworks session later and afterwards, we will get some well deserved rest after such a productive day.

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