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British Virgin Islands - 2013, Session 1

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End

After months of waiting and two full weeks of unpacking food, pumping tanks, launching dinghies, and sorting through loads of dive gear, we think it's safe to say the staff of Distant Drums is just as excited (if not more) as our shipmates for the summer to start. Though we might only have names and face cards to go by, we know that soon enough we'll be able to put these names to faces and then personalities to people. Before you know it, it will be hard to believe that we've only just met. Though the schedule may always be the same, the journey is always different. We're excited about all the adventures and the laughs to come over these next three weeks. But for now, we're just excited to meet the people who will make this boat and this boat unlike any other.

Here is an introduction to the crew of Distant Drums:

Ben- skipper Ben is originally from Manchester, England and did not start exploring the sea until he had finished his first university degree. From then on, though, there was no going back. Ben has now logged over 30,000 sea miles and has crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He holds an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate and is an RYA cruising instructor. Ben is also a PADI Divemaster, and his keen interest in marine life led him to return to university where he obtained an MSC. in marine science from the University of York, UK. He has since worked on coral reef programs in Madagascar and Trinidad and Tobago as well as on marine projects closer to home in the cooler waters of the Irish sea. Ben enjoys getting the students as excited about the water as he is and teaching them the skills to be able to start to navigate and explore independently.

Marina- dive instructor/mate

Growing up in Sarasota, FL, Marina's passion for all things marine began at a young age. She followed this into college at Florida State University until graduating in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology. During her stay there, Marina split her time between the sailing team, instructing scuba, and completing an independent research project. Marina holds PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, AAUS Scientific diver, WFR, and STCW-95, certifications. She has interned at Mote Marine and Pritzker Marine Research laboratories. Marina joined the AQ team in 2011, giving her the chance to share her love of the water with others, just as she learned when she was a shipmate.

Tina- dive instructor/mate

After spending several months abroad with Sea|mester in 2008, Tina became absorbed with the marine world. She graduated from Bard College with a BA in Environmental Studies in 2010, after which she turned her attention to scuba diving. Tina has worked as a Divemaster and Instructor in Central America, Europe, and the US. She holds qualifications such as PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Emergency First Response Instructor (including Care for Children), and eleven specialty instructor ratings. She is thrilled to be returning for her second summer with Action Quest. When not underwater, Tina can be found playing her viola, studying towards a Master's in Environmental Conservation Education, and planning her next dive.