BVI: Session 1 - Catalinaville

Posted: Mon, Jun 19, 2017

The 13th Shipmate Arrives

Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
Author: Mara B.
We awoke extra early this morning to help set up dive gear on the beach for the younger students. We made a pen in the water off the beach that they will use as an
enclosure to start learning how to dive. We then headed over to do a fun dive on a brand new wreck, which was only sunk this past April. The wreck was a boat from Pearl Harbor and had a massive statue of an octopus on the deck of the ship. The dive was amazing. We later went to port and all took time in Spanishtown to grab lunch and go shopping. It was during our shopping excursion that we found our newest shipmate. His name is Wendell and he really strongly resembles the red blow up guys that flap in the wind outside the car dealerships. Hes only been with is for half a day, but we have welcomed him as one of our own and we love him dearly. Later in the day, we returned to Savanna Bay where we did some knowledge reviews and practiced skin diving skills. We then had shower time with Wendell. Following what must have been the most heroic clothespin rescue in AQ history by Simon, the cooks started preparing chili and we are just about to eat dinner. Overall, a fabulous day!

Posted: Sun, Jun 18, 2017

47 Meters Down

Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda
Author: Ethan E.
Today started at the usual it seems on this trip, at 6:30 and students struggling to leave hammocks. We had a wonderful breakfast and listened to the wonderful morning CD before leaving for the day’s adventure. We left the harbor and went on our way to Ginger Island to dive a new site for all, including our staff. We dove Ginger Steps, which is a wonderful reef that descends to 92 feet- don’t worry parents, we are going to be professionals. We saw a shark and ascended back onto the boat, fighting waves climbing onto the boat. We left Ginger Island and began our journey up to Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, which will be our safe harbor for now. After waking everyone up from study sessions, we motored in. We went on a tank run, taking the used tanks on the long dinghy ride over rough seas two boats over to Manic. We unloaded the 100 tanks (really 20), reloaded them and moved on our way back over the seas. Now we wait in anticipation for dives that are more exciting, teaching sessions, knowledge reviews and interactions with the open water students helping them discover diving. Happy Father’s Day!

Posted: Sat, Jun 17, 2017

Diving Into Our Master Skills

Location: The Bight, Norman Island
Author: Sophie G.
Waking up to a glistening sun and some groovy tunes was an ideal start to our first of many long days. After breakfast, we prepared ourselves for the director, Mike, to come and give us his famous opening speech on all of our upcoming expeditions. Considering we are now the oldest and most advanced diving boat in the fleet, we hosted many of our neighbors on the lovely Catalinaville catamaran for Mike’s talk. Once the talk was over it was time to ready the crew and head out into the big blue! We motored our way over to The Caves, a dope snorkeling and scuba site. Here we helped our sail side friends with their snorkel gear and eventually geared ourselves up for our first dive back in the BVI. During our checkout dive, we refreshed our minds on some important underwater skills, and then it was our time as soon to be divemasters to demo some of the skills back to our instructors. These skills are important for us to not only know, but to master so we can potentially teach others. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience because I now feel prepared to learn how to demonstrate more skills and eventually lead some dives for the open water divers! I am looking forward to the next 19 days of hard work, fun and memories to be made!

Posted: Fri, Jun 16, 2017

Catalinaville Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola
Author: Simon and Alisa
Setup is quickly winding down and the crew of Catalinaville are getting super excited for the arrival of our students. Our Divemaster candidates are inbound today and will be working toward their first professional level qualification. We actually have 12 returning shipmates aboard our 46 foot catamaran, which will make for a phenomenal group, and we could not be not be more thrilled about it. From sailing to hiking, waterskiing to beach barbecues and of course a lot of diving, we are ready to make it happen! Stay tuned for more to come from the wonderful crew of Catalinaville – the dive pro team; ‘fun-bathing’ in the BVIs.
Here is an introduction to the crew of Catalinaville:
Simon- skipper/dive instructor
Simon is returning for his third year at ActionQuest, though also works for her sister program Seamester during the other seasons. He has been introducing divers to the amazing underwater world for over a decade now and has dived in 30+ countries around the world, from South Africa to Galapagos and Egypt to Australia (though not in his home country of Scotland surprisingly!). When not on or under the water, Simon enjoys long distance running as a way to explore new villages, towns and cities around the world and last year completed his first full marathon in New York. When teaching, he especially enjoys seeing a new divers face light up after their first experience in the water, as well as helping more experienced divers fulfill their own potential as dive professionals. Simon is a PADI Master Instructor, CPR/First Aid Instructor Trainer, Cave Diver, Technical Diver, and also has his MCA Yachtmaster Offshore 200t and has over 30,000 nautical miles of sailing experience.
Alisa- dive instructor/mate
Alisa was raised in North Florida and has never been far from the water. She was a competitive swimmer for nine years and has been diving since she was sixteen. Her passion for scuba and the undersea world has only increased over the years. Alisa studied ecotourism in college and became a PADI scuba instructor in 2014. When shes not in the water, her hobbies include being around food as much as possible and having a near unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter. She enjoys engaging with people and teaching and encouraging people to love the water and its inhabitants as much as she does! This is her third year working with the ActionQuest family and she is more than excited to continue this adventure!

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