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British Virgin Islands - 2013, Session 2

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End

After two days of getting Distant Drums ready for its next three-week adventure, we are super excited and cannot wait for the next group of shipmates to arrive. The provisions have been loaded, and the necessary pre-departure checks have been completed. Once the shipmates arrive, Distant Drums will once again circumnavigate the BVIs. Along the way, we will stop at impressive dive sites, anchor at beautiful bays, and we may even tag a few turtles. Most of all, though, we look forward to the fantastic friendships that will be made and the life skills that we will develop as we work as a team and set sail on an adventure that we will all remember forever.

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 a 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.