BVI: Session 2 - Lifeworks - Grins

Posted: Mon, Jul 29, 2013

Day 20- Staff Blog

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Matt D
Here we are, back in west end, and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. We just finished our final boat cleanup and are now relaxing and soaking up our last few moments together aboard Grins! Currently, Hayden and Doria are sitting at the table sharing a full gallon of cookies and cream ice cream- pretty impressive. Both have been so awesome for the overall mood of the boat, as they are so resiliently positive and upbeat all the time. Clara, our skipper of the day, did a great job directing the cleanup of the boat. It will feel weird tomorrow night not enjoying one of her yummy desserts. Sera is definitely the dessert sidekick, and the two are inseparable. Sera filled in yesterday as skipper for Syd (as Syd had already had a chance to drive) and she did a great job under pressure in a tight anchorage. Her kind smile and willingness to help will definitely be missed by all. Jake is currently sitting on the other side of the table listening to music. He champed the dish cleanup today, and his jokes and sense of humor have kept the boat atmosphere light and enjoyable. Hopefully he won’t have to touch the jib anymore tonight! Speaking of touching the jib, Charlie has just walked back carrying some snacks from the market. He has promised us all a final concert tonight, and I know our boat (and the rest of the Actionquest fleet) are looking forward to another rendition of Dream On. That was so cool. Boone is deep in a book that he just bought about boats. He has 100% been our resident boat expert, and Torin and I will definitely miss having such a curious and competent mate on board. Sydney (Syd the Kid!) is definitely another name that comes to mind when thinking about good sailors. She has been so willing to learn everything about the boat, and her desire to help out has been a real pleasure. Also, her backflip skills have gone from non-existent to pretty incredible. Laura just got back from shopping with Julia. Laura just made a joke that I didn’t hear, but judging from her great sense of humor I’m guessing it was pretty funny. In addition to being the boat expert on Pixar and Harry Potter, she has also kept the mood very light and enjoyable. Julia has been doing great in her second language and is another great hand both on board and at projects. Her calming personality and huge heart makes her such an incredibly positive force for our boat. Hailing from the same continent, Emma is our resident Brit and brings some awesome perspective to our crew. She leaves every project covered in paint, dirt or whatever medium we were working with, proof of her willingness and desire to put 100% of herself into projects which the staff is continually impressed with. Claire and Griffin are hanging out on the end of the dock with some other ActionQuest and Lifeworks shipmates. Claire has been a strong leader on the boat, helping take charge wherever needed. Although she is one of our younger shipmates, she has risen to a leadership role many times which is great to see. Lastly, Griffin. Griffin is far and away the grinniest Grins shipmate, and everyone will miss her positivity and happy demeanor. She has rallied our boat mood time and time again, and even had a secret handshake with Torin that could wow anyone. Thinking that everyone is leaving tomorrow is very sad, because the boat has come together to accomplish so much In such a short period of time. It is not a crew I will soon forget, and can’t wait to see what they accomplish later in their lives. Parents reading this, you all raised some great kids! Feeling nostalgic just rereading this so Im headed back out to do one final squeeze question with my team. Standing by 72, skipper Matt (Dark).

Posted: Sat, Jul 27, 2013

Day 19- Peter Island Day!

Location: The Bight, Norman Island
Author: Sydney B
The day started off with pancakes! YUM! Our amazing chefs, Hayden and Jake, prepared a delicious breakfast. We started our day off with an hour of free time in Road Town. Some of us decided to go get some grub, others went in search of wifi and others went shopping. We returned to the boat, where Sera, the skipper of the day, lead us safely out of the busy harbor. We motored over to Peter Island where we went for a nice walk. We walked through the remains of a small town and briefly met up with one of the only men that lives there now. Continuing on our walk, we headed to a very fancy resort that we were lucky enough to gain access to. The beach had nice white sand, pristine water and beautiful views. There, Torin gave us an inspiring speech. He talked about his experience with one of the local guys and how he has what we would consider basically nothing, but he was such a happy person and full of life. It was really eye opening, it brought up the idea of how happiness is a choice, not a fleeting situation. We walked back to the small beach that we arrived at and helped Thermin, the resident of the original town, to pull in his fishing net. He caught a decent amount, and most of us got a chance to hold one. We hopped back on the boat and went to Norman Island. While the staff had a meeting, we showered, and Griffin, Doria, and Claire had a little dance party. Our day ended with a scrumptious supper, a beautiful sunset and a really nice squeeze.Hayden would like to say “Happy Birthday mom!!”

Posted: Fri, Jul 26, 2013

Mangrove Madness

Location: Little Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Julia S
Today began with a delicious meal of scrambled eggs and chocolate chip banana bread. Yum! After that, we had a very chill morning filled with some much needed cleaning and a snack party. Following that, we headed for West End, Tortola where we had the choice of planting mangrove trees or helping out with the local YEP(Youth Empowerment Program) kids. The mangrove group spent a lot of time in the mud! It was an amazing experience to plant these incredibly important trees. When we came back together as a group, we prepared for a fake injury to help the wonderful volunteers at VISAR train. VISAR stands for Virgin Island Search and Rescue, and they essentially act as a coast guard force in the BVI. We assigned a few great actors on Grins, including Griffin who had a broken leg and Hayden/Boone as distractors. We tested the VISAR volunteers, who remained calm and had a little fun too! After that, we all took showers in the ocean while watching THE most amazing sunset. Earlier, some seagulls had a nice snack on our Mexican food and pooped all over the deck while we all on spindrift, the other boat. What a mess! Later we are going to have some yummy desserts, and then hit the sheets! A special shout out to Griffin’s Mom on her birthday. I love you and see you soon to my Mom, Dad and Jennifer. Say hi to the kitties and woofer for me!

Day 18- VISAR, Pizza and showers, OH MY!

Location: Road Harbour, Tortola
Author: Griffin B
Today we woke up and journeyed over to Virgin Island Search and Rescue’s (VISAR) base to help them out. Yesterday I was chosen to fake a broken leg injury to assist VISAR with their training, it was awesome. At the base today we did a variety of tasks, from scraping paint, to weeding and gardening, to painting, and even dredging (which was totally riddled with nasty nast). There were two groups of people for dredging, one group waded in the waist deep water of the harbor in front of the base, shoveling and collecting sand into buckets while the other group was on land dumping the heavy buckets of sans behind the base. Everybody worked super hard and were rewarded with pizza for lunch and AMAZING showers ON LAND! Then we hung out on the boat for awhile and chilled. It was awesome to do work for the fantastic volunteers at VISAR. We are now anchored in Road Harbor and are getting ready for our last day of service tomorrow (awww so sad L).

Posted: Wed, Jul 24, 2013

Day 16- This or That

Location: Diamond Cay, Little Jost Van Dyke
Author: Emma D
Day 16Title: Would you ratherLocation: JVD; Great TobagoBlog: Today was our last day working with the JVD children. We were all excited to see the friendly faces that we had gotten to know very well over the past two days. We arrived at Foxy’s at 9a.m. to meet the kids. After greeting the few new faces and playing even more icebreaker games, we listen to a presentation about the many birds that we were about to see on Great Tobago. The lifeworks then shepherded the JVD children on to the two boats and set sail. Even though the wind was minimal, we put up the sails and the kids were keen to help us raise the jib. After sailing for roughly two hours we reached our destination and ate lunch. Everyone was glad to jump into the water and cool off after being in the sweltering heat all morning. The JVD kids enjoyed snorkeling and also partook in a cannonball competition. We then sailed round the opposite side of the island and admired the hundreds of birds that were nesting on the hillside. Three JVD children wanted to steer the boat, leaving the rest of us to rest and play an game of “this or that.” The children were very imaginative in their creation of these, the boat’s favorite being, Would you rather run through the rainforest in your underwear or drive your young ones to school?’ After saying a final goodbye to the kids they were dropped off back at Foxy’s where we hung one of our lifeworks shirts on his wall. We then ate an early supper and are currently preparing to go out on a night snorkel with some of the older JVD kids.(P.s. Love you Mum and Dad [P.p.s. Sydney says I love you mum and dad] )

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