BVI: Session 2 - Mambo No 5
Posted: Mon, Jul 30, 2012
Staff Blog Day 20-Final Countdown
The end of the trip is always bittersweet. Bitter because of the hard goodbyes we have coming our way. Sweet because although the goodbyes can be rough, the memory of the past few weeks more than makes up for it. Over the past 21 days Blair, Sam, and I have had the priviledge of getting to know thirteen truly amazing young men and women. Although our shipmates hail from nearly every corner of the globe and bring a wealth of personalities here to Mambo No. Five, they have come together to work as such a great fun team that you’d think we’d been sailing together for far longer. Their jokes, their hard work, their playful spirits, their serious questions-all will be truly missed when they leave for home in just a few hours. Even though the trip has been winding down, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been buckling down to finish those final few certs. Neptunes Ryo, Jonathan, Walker, Caleigh, Dough, Sean and Brandon have been polishing their dive skills with the Wreck Diver specialty certification. They are also among the few and proud divers who can claim that they understand the inner workings of a regulator thanks to their Equipment specialty certification. We just hope that none of them return home with any hand injuries after many intense games of Egyptian Rat Slap, a popular card game that even the staff have become very competitive over. As for our Dolphins, Timo, Lauren, Chloe, Lili, Quin and Dani-we couldn’t be prouder of the work they’ve put into their research projects. Team Parrotfish delivered an excellent presentation on the feeding habits of Caribbean Parrotfish species and their subsequent environmental impact. Team Christmas Tree Worm also knocked it out of the park by delving into the coral habitat preferences of one of the Caribbean’s most popular invertebrates. That’s not to say that our shipmates were the only ones learning. We as staff were fortunate enough to have the kind of crew that taught us in turn- and helped us become better teachers, mentors, and friends. It was both an honor and a pleasure to live and work with such funny, dedicated, exuberant individuals. They will be missed.
Location: West End, Tortola
Today we woke early at 6:30 and had a breakfast of cereal and oatmeal. We did a quick clean up then immediately started packing our bags and preparing for departure. The mood was melancholy as we emptied out our cabins, but our spirits were lifted when we arrived at our dive site, the Indians. We geared up and jumped in and enjoyed one of the best dives yet. We saw so many fish, coral, invertebrates, and even a spotted eagle ray! As we got out, stowed our gear and began to dry off, Blair gave us the run-down for the “Big Clean”. It is amazing how much grime accumulations after 3 weeks. For over 3 hours the entire crew scrubbed, sprayed, scraped, and scoured the boat from the heads (yuck) to the stern. As we cleaned we were motoring from the Bight, Norman Island to West End, Tortola. As we traveled, it got rougher and rougher and more and more windy. Pretty soon it started raining which got worse and worse until we all huddled in the cockpit. We waited at a mooring for about an hour, waiting for the weather to calm down enough to dock. Finally we were able to brave the 15 knot winds and beating rain and dock. We have the whole afternoon on shore, then our final fleet wide BBQ tonight. This has been an amazing experience, and it is bitter sweet leaving.
Posted: Sun, Jul 29, 2012
Today was a day of bitter sweet nostalgia. As the inseparable family of Mambo No. Five commenced their final tear-wrenched meal together, I was deep in thought. Flash backs of our tenuous journey exploded through my brain as if I was running through a never ending mine field of memories. Whether it be being dragged through a forest of psychotic jellyfish with sinister grins on their faces or laughing uncontrollably until someone bursts. These few weeks have been nothing but exhilarating. I know I’ll never forget swimming deep into an every shipwreck. Today we ventured into Road Town, the thriving metropolis that is the capitol of the BVI. It was a hectic departure as we raced against 3 other boats to win the golden chalice of the awe-inspiring dive side race day. We then arrived at the Bight which is where I sit at the exact moment. There is a sad yet happy aura bouncing around Mambo right now but I know that we have no regrets and no worries about leaving, we’re living as though its just another joyful day on Mambo. Tonight is the night we will prank the S.S. Boss Lady. We’ll get the revenge we need for having all our clothes zip-tied tightly against the lines. It might seem scary to play pranks at night but its ok because I fear nothing and we having nothing to fear but fear itself. And after we avenge Boss Lady we will play our celebratory victory song, the song our of our boat and the song in our hearts, Mambo No. Five. To all my shipmates and readers, remember, when the going gets tough, let the Mambo get going!
Posted: Sat, Jul 28, 2012
The End Days Approach…
After a relatively restless night for some of us we woke to the oft-heard sound of the morning CD playing. After our breakfast of cereal, we did the dishes in record time and sailed out of Great Harbour, Peter and made our way to Cooper Island where we dove a series of side-by-side wrecks, including but not limited to the Kissing Wrecks (where two boats sunk so close to each other that they are touching), the Inganis (a tugboat), and the outskirts of Blue Chromis Reef, which is where we first saw the dolphins earlier in the session. For the Neptunes this dive was a wreck dive which went toward their specialty but for us Dolphins it was a fun dive. When we surfaced it was time for some well-deserved chilling. At least, it was for the Neptunes! The Dolphins had to work on our projects and presentations. We also finally got most of our grades back and everybody passed! I am very proud of my fellow shipmates for their high achievements! There was also a second optional dive in the same area, but all of the Dolphins opted to stay on the boat to work on our presentation. Currently we are waiting to get a chance for practicing them in front of Blair, who can hopefully give us some useful tips and tricks to help us shine. I have the utmost confidence in all of us and cannot wait to hear the other groups presentations!
Posted: Fri, Jul 27, 2012
Well today was a stressful day. Its day 17 and the Dolphins had work cut out for them. We had to sail/motor to West End for food/water/time ashore. I had breakfast on shore and it was awesome. Someone bought Blair an iced mocha and she was soooo thrilled to have it. Then we sailed to Great Harbour, Peter (GHP) for some diving. Some of the Dolphins didn’t go because we needed to have our fish journals and project papers done. Basically everyone is done with their fish journals and only one group has to finish our project paper at least its only one more section and its not due until 10:00 pm so plenty of time almost. As I’m writing this there are other people on a different boat doing cannon balls into the water. We had a pretty chill day really. Dolphins are basically done with all our work. There’s a shark dissection on Blue Venture tonight at 8:00 pm and its going to be so awesome. My squeeze question tonight was what is one of the best memories of your parents? Mine was when I’m in the car with my mom and its just me and her and its a sunny day and she’s just the happiest person in that moment and I’m making her laugh. I love making my mom laugh. So what’s your favorite moment? Also it started raining while I was writing this.