BVI: Session 2 - Moko Jumbie
Posted: Sun, Jul 27, 2014
A Day Of Work And Fun
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
We woke up a little late today and ever one enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal or cereal. we were getting ready to land on peter island and do some hard work on Thermen’s land to help preserve Conrads legacy on the island. When we got to his land we started to wait for Thermen to show up, but after 15 minutes we decided to look around and we discovered a note saying he had to go to work, we were a little disappointed that we did not get to meet him. After that we walked to the other side of the island to check out the resort, Elliot told us the history of Peter island and Dead Chest Island. We went back to the boats in the afternoon. We had decided to do some swimming and snorkeling. When snorkeling we got to see some really cool fish and even a sea cucumber. When we finished we took a saltwater shower and got ready to sail over to Norman island for the night. Once we got there we cooked dinner and had a Frozen jam session. After dinner we got our cards to write to our shipmates, when it hit midnight we decided to go to bed and finish the cards the next day. So over all it was a really awesome day.
P.S. Mom, Dad and Ryan I miss you guys so much and can’t wait to see you. I’m also having a great time on this trip it has been so fun. See you soon. Love Jeffrey
Final Staff Blog
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
As Session Two comes to an end, Anna, Quincey, and I have to say sad goodbyes to another round of shipmates. It’s hard to believe that just three weeks ago these shipmates were strangers, sweating in the St. Thomas airport wondering what they had signed themselves up for. Now they’re a true crew of sailors: one tight group, as close as a family, bonded by the experience of having shared a 46 ft boat with one another. We started off with a dozen shipmates, but with the addition of Juliana, our boat was loaded to the max with a total of 13 shipmates and 3 crew. Even though Juliana joined a day late, she quickly became an integral part of the Moko Jumbie team. Over the course of the last three weeks Lifeworks has taken part in some amazing projects and our shipmates have done every task set before them excellently. One of my favorite projects we did this session was turtle tagging. This session we caught 8 turtlesusing the rodeo and manta-tow style.All the shipmates were incredible but several stick out: Ethansingle-handedly dove to about twenty feet to catch a nice sized Hawksbill in an incredible feat ofathleticism and technique; Josh took home the award for largest turtle caught this session in Anegada, a beastly green turtle measuring 54cm across the length of its shell! Austin assisted in the release of one of the larger turtles I’ve ever hadto handle and successfully released the turtle back into the ocean; Megan took the lead in recording the data and was an incredibly important member of the turtle tagging team as the official scribe. Another one of my favorite projects this session was working with Virgin Island Search and Rescue (VISAR). The shipmates did an awesome job helping with maintenance at the VISAR headquarters where wepainted, worked on their driveway, and dredged silt from their boat’s channel. Juliana and Alex did an amazing job on the dredging team and at one point pulled a MASSIVE sheet of wood off the bottom. Megan, Ana and Tori took charge of painting and did a magnificent job transforming the base’s facade from a dull red to a vibrant safety-orange color. It was a long, hot day but everyone worked really hard and we did a great job.We also got to work with children from the Islands on several project and our shipmates got tointeract and learn a bit about the people and culture of the BVIs. The kids were awesome but had SOMUCH energy and we all struggled to keep pace with them. Megan and Haley in particular stood out by working really well with an 8 year old who was LITERALLY bouncing off the walls. Austin was also really great with the kids at Bregado Flax Elementary School and somehow managed to keep going even after the rest of us were drained of energy.When the kids did finally stop running around, they all swarmed to Haley and some of the other girls for face painting. We didn’t spend all day every day on the projects, however, and many of my favorite moments thissession just happened on the boat. One was when Ana volunteered to help cook so that Tori wouldn’t haveto work on her birthday. Another was the times we jammed to the Frozen soundtrack or Cam tried to teachus what “harmonizing” is (whatever that means). We also got a “Fun Day” during which Josh stunned uswith his wake boarding skills and Jeff took half the boat out for private Pico lessons. Those who didn’t get to go out with Jeff tried their hardest but ended up flipping the boat (aka Kat and Tori!). We had some great sails which everyone enjoyed (even Katie once she got over her early sea-sickness) and one particularly crazy day when waves were washing right over our bow, soaking the shipmates who clung to the trampoline together. All the shipmates helped out around the boat with sailing activities, but Alex was particularly useful and picked up more mooring balls than anyone else this trip. Katie and Kat have been exceptional chefs during our trip, they have created masterpieces such as burritos and Thai Peanut Chicken. Even when it wasn’t their job of the day to be chef, they wanted to help out with meal prep as much as they could. I think it’s safe to say that all of us Staff members on Moko Jumbie will take home dozens ofmemories from our time with y’all and we’ll look back on this session fondly. Three weeks has not beenenough time with the incredible shipmates of Moko Jumbie and I hope we see all of them again in the nearfuture!
Posted: Sat, Jul 26, 2014
Tortola, Pufferfish Stings And Mongoosing
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
This morning the chefs woke up early to make us breakfast for dinner for breakfast. After breakfast we motored away from Road Town to the other side of Tortola where we would be mangroving or mongoosing, as Kat calls it. We broke up into teams to examine the mangrove site, where young mangrove trees are growing in PVC pipes as a way to ensure their survival. First we counted the mangroves, then we chose a sample size that we would measure and record the GPS coordinates of. We saw several interesting creatures including puffer fish and sea urchins. After we finished recording the information about the mangroves we sailed back to Road Town for shore time. We got to eat lunch there, and having real food for a change was absolutely amazing. We then got the chance to explore Road Town, the capital of the BVI. Road town was full of fantastic sights and places, including a man selling hand-made pottery out of the bed of his pick-up truck. A bunch of us bought one of his beautiful pieces. After returning to the boat we sailed to Peter Island and anchored there for the night. We had a major jam session to songs from Frozen and played charades with Catalinaville. Then the chefs cooked us delicious food for Mexican night, and tonight we will get the chance to reflect on our experiences in Lifeworks and what the community service we’ve done has taught and meant to us.
The program has been flying by, and it’s unreal that day 18 is already over. I can’t wait to experience the last couple days in these stunning islands.
Bye for now!
Posted: Fri, Jul 25, 2014
Location: Road Harbor, Tortola
Today we woke up and the staff had already started sailing the boat. We left Jost Van Dyke and headed for Road Town, the capital of the territory, and it is located on Tortola. Once in Road Town, we split into groups to do different jobs for VISAR. Virgin Islands Search and Rescue has one full time employee and 30 on call volunteers that goout and help with problems around the islands. Unfortunately, they are extremely underfunded, so they need other volunteers to help with things around the base. While we were there, we helped dredge out the silt from where the boat is dropped, we painted things orange, and the driveway gravel was moved to be more even. Also while on shore, groups would go to different sites and plant mangrove seeds and record others’ growth.
After a day of good community service, we were told that as a surprise reward, Mexican food would be moved to tomorrow night to get rid of breakfast for dinner, and tonight we would get Pizzas.
Every single person on both boats was on board for the proposition, leading to an excellent dinner on Catalinaville.
Posted: Thu, Jul 24, 2014
Birthday On The Boat!
Location: Great Harbor, Jost van Dyke
Today we were rewarded with a lie-in after our busy day yesterday, and after an energy fueling breakfast of porridge or cereal were reunited with our buddies from the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. Our buddies gave us a tour of Jost Van Dyke, pointing out all of the buildings and various fruit trees ranging from bananas to sugar apples. After the quick tour we gathered in an open area and sang Happy Birthday to Tori, who turned 17 today! We all dinghied back to the boat and raised sail for the trip over to Great Thatch, it was a bumpy ride due to strong winds and choppy waters. On the beach at Great Thatch we picked up garbage and recorded our findings to be used by the Ocean Conservation Board for citizen led research. We found some interesting objects including goat and iguana skulls and even fashioned necklaces out of fishing line and pieces of coral found during the clean up. After we finished recording the various garbage items we found, we dinghied back to our boats and began to sail back to Jost Van Dyke. We dropped our buddies off and enjoyed some shore time, in which we visited the famous bar “Foxy’s,” and took the opportunity to stock up on snacks and souvenirs (Jeff finally found a snow globe!). We even found a mascot for the boats, a puppy from the island who we have named Tobin! Once we returned back to the boat we took ocean showers and ate a delicious dinner of ‘Franks & Beans.’ Right now a cake is being baked and Catalinaville is joining us in celebration of Tori’s Birthday!