BVI: Session 1 - Love of my Life
Posted: Sun, Jul 7, 2013
Staff Update Day 20
Location: West End
Today marked the culmination of an absolutely fantastic 3 weeks on board Love of my Life. All of the training, diving, sailing, and laughter of the past 19 days pieced themselves together as all of our shipmates became official rescue divers after successful completion of their final rescue scenario, and followed that up with victory in our race to Norman Island and an incredible final evening together sharing how we’ve all grown during our time together. I have learned so much from this incredible group of students and will only have the fondest memories of our time together. Regina’s passion and closeness with her family inspires me to keep closer with my own. Ian always seems to be learning an growing, and is continuously tackling the challenges he faces. Austin is naturally quiet, but creates such great relationships with everyone through listening and supporting all of us, and then making us cry with laughter with his great sense of humor. The same goes for Alex W. who is one of the funniest people I have ever met, but is so grounded and good natured and always seems to have the pulse of the boat and knowing what we need. Will is another one who can catch you off guard and leave you in stitches at the drop of a hat, and then drop everything he’s doing to help out when he’s asked. Gus is one of the strongest divers I’ve had, and was a natural leader in our rescue scenarios, always on top of the situation. Quinn is captain dependable and beyond keeping on top of all the things that need to get done, is also one of our strongest sailors and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Casey’s ability to adapt and succeed in any environment is so impressive. Moving out of the US and down into Mexico would be a challenge for any kid, but not only did Casey survive, he now speaks about it as one of the best things that has happened in his life and adores his new home. He also made Love of my Life a new home for all of us with his laid back nature and great stories. Carlos is one of the most dialed in teenagers I’ve ever met, and beyond being the easiest person to get along with, he has such a clear focus on what he wants to do, that I have trouble believing he’s still in high school. Natalie is one of the most passionate people I have met, and she has an incredible ability to bring, and keep, a group together. She is a natural leader. This is my second summer with Allison, and I have been so immensely impressed with her growth and achievement over the past year. I have no doubt she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. Alex H. is the most genuine person I have ever met, and she has the most incredible way of getting to know everyone on board on a very deep and personal level. I leave every conversation with her so impressed with her maturity and kindness. Her hometown friend Kathleen is very similar in her ability to connect with people and learn and grow from her interactions with others, but beyond that she is so in tune with the person she is and never tries to be anything but that. As I said, this was an incredible group of people. We had an absolutely amazing time together and now have 13 new rescue divers who are trained and prepared to help out other divers in need should the time arise, but beyond that, our group bonded and grew in a way that has influenced me in the most positive ways, and I couldn’t be more proud of this group of students. They truly embody Love of my Life’s Rule No. 1: We are the best.
Posted: Sat, Jul 6, 2013
Location: West End
Today was a trying day, emotionally and physically. We began the day bright and early at 5:15 and set off to hike straight up a hill in our anchorage to watch the sunrise. It was a breathtaking way to start the day, and afterwards everyone was energized and ready to prepare for our final dive on the Indians. After a brief motor to the dive site, we moored the boat and hopped in the water. The dive was incredible and colorful. After ascending to the surface, we broke down our gear for the last time and began to deep clean our boat. We sailed to West End while all of the shipmates cleaned our cabins and the galley. By the time we arrived we had cleaned so much and so efficiently that we were the first shipmates allowed to go ashore. The reality that the trip’s end is imminent is really hitting everyone and there have been numerous group hugs. I consider myself to be insanely lucky to have spent these past few weeks with the amazing Loves’ on my boat. I’m sad to leave, but confident in all my new found friendships.
Posted: Fri, Jul 5, 2013
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
The day began like any other morning, except for the four “injured” divers we had to rescue in the middle of breakfast. After rescuing four of the Divemasters, Sam officially announced that we were certified rescue divers. To celebrate we had pancakes which we had abandoned for the scenario. We sailed then to Road Town where we had lunch at the marina and explored the town, perusing the stores. After two hours on shore, we got our boat ship-shape and ready to race the other dive side boats. We all lined up the ships, main sails unfurled, when we released the jib and sped off into the waves. Love of my Life was neck in neck with Peeps Larou, fighting for first place. The race was very close, however we came out on top and it was well worth it. After throwing our skipper of the day into the water to celebrate our victory, we ate dinner and talked about what we want to take away from the trip. We spent the final few hours writing cards to each other that will be given to us as we leave. I believe that the emotions passing through us at this point made my day even more so than winning the race. It touched me deeply as we cried while writing each others cards. Today has definitely been the perfect day.
Posted: Thu, Jul 4, 2013
Another Day in Paradise
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
An early rise to the morning sprang up fast with a hard sail to Cooper Island. Everyone aboard was antsy to move along with the day, due to the unknown forthcoming second dive scenario. First, however, we had two beautiful dives to relieve the anxiety. It really was impossible to think of anything other than the huge spotted eagle ray slowly emerging from the furthest point of visibility to majestically glide above. Upon returning to the surface, my mind was still on the fantastic creature we had just spotted. Just as all of our comfort and level of relaxation climaxed, the rescue scenario began. We were flung headfirst from our euphoria to a simulated accident that seemed all too real. The vigilance and attentiveness we showed after a mediocre start to scenarios paid of dearly. Although a few mistakes were made, we have shown a drastic improvement. All of our spirits were held at a high point while we enjoyed breakfast for dinner and shared some of our fondest memories of our trip. All is going well here in the BVI’s, just enjoying another day in paradise.
Posted: Wed, Jul 3, 2013
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
We started off by waking up to some sweet tuned bright and early. With a quick oatmeal breakfast in our stomachs we set off to West End for shore time and a second breakfast for some of us at a coffee shop. After shopping around we set sail for Great Harbor Peter where we all waited for our rescue session to happen. Then we jumped into the water to have a fun dive at GHP and ended the day with a delicious Mexican dinner. Just another amazing day in paradise!