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British Virgin Islands - 2014, Session 1

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

The staff of Changes is thrilled for all of the AQ students to arrive! On board, we have Anna, Sam, and Rachael. Fun fact: Rachael trained onboard Changes for her divemaster course before becoming a dive instructor. We've spent the last few days preparing for the student's arrival by stocking the galley with food, the cabinets with dive and sail training manuals, and the decks with equipment ranging from scuba gear to handheld radios. Changes is fortunate to have Anna on board, who has had over a decade of AQ experience and runs many aspects of life here at AQ. Also, Rachael was a shipmate with AQ for seven years before joining the AQ team in 2013. Sam brings a boatload of sailing experience to AQ and started his sailing career as a Sea|mester shipmate and is excited to be the skipper onboard Changes. We cant wait to meet everyone and share our passions and experience with everyone onboard!

Here is an introduction to the staff of Changes:
Sam- skipper
Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Sam Higgins quickly moved to the town of Stratham, NH. He grew up there alongside an older brother Jonathan and his twin Ben. Spending his summer months on the coast of Maine till he was eighteen aloud, Sam to experience his true passion, working on boats. When he was old enough, he received his first license from the United States Coast Guard. Going on from there, he worked on Ferryboats, Maine Windjammers, and for Whale/sight-seeing companies. He received his RYA Yacht-master 200 ton in 2012 and has since been working on various yachts while also trying to keep his smoothie business The Juicery alive and kicking in Portsmouth NH. Often he can be seen fishing, exploring, and teaching people his love and passion of the ocean.
Rachael- dive instructor/mate
Rachael is so excited to return for her 2nd summer working at ActionQuest! Rachael was a student of AQ for six years before becoming a divemaster and eventually an Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2013. Rachael is a junior biology student at Auburn University and cant wait to share her passion for diving and the ocean with all her students. In addition to diving, Rachael is a talented singer and can always be spotted humming a tune from a musical or an opera. 
Anna- mate/EMT
Anna joined ActionQuest as a shipmate when she was 16 and completed her senior year of high school aboard S/Y Ocean Star. A 2004 graduate from the University of Vermont, with degrees in psychology and sociology, Anna also holds an EMT certification and volunteered on an ambulance while at school. Anna has worked with AQ since the summer of 2000, and in addition to her medical duties, she is also in charge of managing the trip update system and ships stores. During the year, Anna lives in Washington, DC, and enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews and volunteering for a local dog rescue.