BVI: Session 2 - Tanis Marie

Posted: Mon, Jul 29, 2013

Staff Update Day 20

Location: West End
Author: Aaron
As skipper of Tanis Marie, I’ve had the pleasure of watching these eleven shipmates, all former strangers (except cousins Grace and Emily of course!), develop into a fully functioning and capable crew that has passed all of the sailing and scuba diving courses that they set out to complete a mere 3 weeks ago. What I’ve also witnessed are the more individual and personal achievements. So many shipmates are so far out of their comfort zone and doing things they had never considered before. In doing so, we’ve all learned about each others strengths, weaknesses and many hidden talents. Paula, who is from Basque Country in Spain, had little to no sailing experience and has blossomed while also battling a bit of a language barrier. We managed to get her wakeboarding for her first time and is now carving across the wake and jumping while giving the boys a run for their money. Mathis, from Paris, who speaks very little English, blasted through the language barrier with help from our whole crew. His favorite part of the day was usually the salt water shower where he would leap from the transom of the boat into the cool waters of the BVI’s and grin from ear to ear until hopping back aboard for the fresh water shower. He also surprised me while waterskiing by doing the “Macarena” dance routine behind my ski boat. I’m still trying to figure out how he came up with that! I have had the pleasure of enjoying the company of 3 returning shipmates. Jared, Max and Izzie all completed ActionQuest programs last summer and returned to get advanced sailing and scuba certifications. I had this crew man the helm for some practical testing the other day and we were going through our sailing circle drills and practiced heaving-to. While doing so, Jared’s parents sailed by on a catamaran and it couldn’t have been a more perfect time for family to watch what we do out here, as all the drills were at nearly race speed. I even caught their hired skipper smiling, and think there was a touch of jealousy because maneuvering a 53 foot yacht in such a manner is, in so many words, a good time! I mentioned those hidden talents and can’t ignore Emily’s impersonations of other crew which were world class. Her cousin Grace has a talent for laughing at my jokes which are not altogether funny! Much appreciation there Grace! Sophie has a knack for somehow discovering and then sharing the trends from Cosmopolitan magazine, something I never expected to learn about while sailing in the BVI’s. She also lead the way on the jibsheets during the races! Jared, after weeks of perfecting his knots, has created a new hammock knot that makes it easier for its users to get out of the hammock in the morning, because it’s almost a guarantee that the hammock will be on the ground! Jackson’s super-human strength and lifting ability has been invaluable when I need to raise certain parts of the boats boom for example! Martin, from France, has such perfect English that he’s managed to translate everything for Mathis, which would have otherwise been difficult for any of the staff or other crew. Shipmate Billy has turned from a beginner sailor to a rigging machine as he’s learned how to rig and work all the running rigging aboard which has been a huge help to this skipper!It’s literally impossible so summarize our whole session together as a crew aboard Tanis Marie. There have been thousands of laughs, a few tears and memories to keep us going after we set our sails for the final time. We had a crew meeting last night and the realization that we would soon be going our separate ways start to settle in and there were a few tears shed. I can only imagine when all finally have bags in hand and fly back home, it will be a sad moment. These shipmates have done so much in a relatively short time. It makes me wonder where life will take them after ActionQuest and I can only hope that we’ve influenced them in some small way to take chances and make positive decisions. To get out of their comfort zone, take challenges head on and discover new things and places that will ultimately shape their blossoming personalities. The experiences I shared with this crew, including my first crew dive aboard the RMS Rhone, will stay with me forever. Thank you to all the friends and family that have supported these shipmates in their decision to join us at ActionQuest for summer 2013. I promise, every moment was worth it!

Posted: Sun, Jul 28, 2013

Day 20- Last Day, Last Race

Location: West End
Author: Jared E.
Today was our last full day here at ActionQuest. It started off with a quick cereal and oatmeal breakfast. Then it was off to a skipper’s meeting about today’s race for Aaron and I. While I was gone the rest of the boat started to get a jump on the cleaning we were going to do later in the day. When Aaron and I came back we dropped our mooring ball and headed out to the starting line of the race. We raced to Road Town, tacked, and then finished the race at Peter Island in 5th place. It was a fun sail nonetheless. After the race was over the staff took over sailing the boat so we could clean before we got to the docks so we could have a lot of shore time. Once we got to the dock it was about 30 more minutes of cleaning and then we went off to shore and had a great and big lunch. Then we came back to the boat and took a shower like the first day using the salt water hose then we fresh watered off. After that we got changed, cut up the ActionQuest flag, and signed them. Then we took a boat picture and now we are off to our final meal at ActionQuest with a BBQ with the whole program.

Posted: Sat, Jul 27, 2013

Day 19

Location: The Bight, Norman Island
Author: Grace M.
This morning Anna let us sleep in until 8am. We then had an amazing breakfast of blueberry and plain pancakes cooked by Max and Jared. Then we all got the last opportunity to go waterskiing/wakeboarding. Mathis danced the Macarena while waterskiing before doing a face plant into the water. Next we got the boat ready and set off for Road Town. We had lunch at a restaurant right by the marina, then walked around and shopped for about an hour and a half. Paula and I went to the grocery store to buy cookies and snacks to celebrate Max and Sophie’s birthdays, which are coming up. Then we all got back on the boat and sailed over to the Bight, where we took showers but we all stayed in the water for about 30 minutes taking pictures and jumping off the boat. Aaron got in the dinghy to take a picture of us jumping in the water and got soaked when Max did a massive cannonball off the side of the boat. Max and Jared then cooked an amazing dinner broccoli and cheddar pasta which we ate alone because the staff had to go to a meeting at Pelican Pat. After dinner was all cleaned up we ate all the cookies from the grocery store.

Posted: Fri, Jul 26, 2013

Day 18- Last Dive!

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Paula D.
We started the day at Great Harbor in Peter Island with an amazing sailing written test, which is ironic of course but all of us passed it which was an incredible thing! We are beginner sailors! After this we sailed around the corner to Salt Island and we hiked onto a small mountain which had awesome views of the sea and took some beautiful pictures. While sailing I took the helm and drove next to open ocean, which was incredible and hard also because the waves coming by were so big. After lunch we went to our last dive of this amazing trip! We dove on a British ship which sand in 1867, it was so cool. It’s incredible the life underwater in those types of places. Furthermore, it was one of our deepest dives! We went back to Great Harbor with some sailing practice on the way back. We had shower and breakfast (yes, it was breakfast for dinner). Although they say I’m a dictator as skipper I know that they like me.

Posted: Thu, Jul 25, 2013

Day 17- Race To The Finish

Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Author: Billy R.
The day started out with the crew going ashore to a beach to watch the sunrise. Almost immediately after breakfast the sailing began. All of the boats lined up to race each other. All good fun and games. After the first race all of the boats went into port for lunch, snacks, and hangout time. Then the big race started. Many tacks occured and we all traveled upwind. The day ended with a nice dinner with Mike doing a great activity with black and white postcards.

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