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British Virgin Islands - 2014, Session 2

Staff Update

Location: West End, Tortola


Wow, the first session seemed to fly by absolutely, and we had such an amazing time. Our wonderful shipmates flew home yesterday and now, with the boats all cleaned, and the galleys restocked, we are ready for our new shipmates and so excited to meet them all! We have added some homely touches to La Bella Vita, and today the new flags have been raised, and the colors of ActionQuest are proudly flapping on the mast. LaBella Vita is a beautiful 50ft monohull, with a surprisingly spacious salon!

There is a real buzz in the air as the ActionQuest team make their final preparations. The boats are all lined up down the dock, and our boat is nestled happily somewhere in the middle. All there is left to do is for myself (Emma), Aaron, and Gwen to welcome the new shipmates onboard their new home! Let the adventures begin!

Here is an introduction to the staff of Le Bella Vita:

Aaron- skipper

Raised in New England, Aaron has spent much of his time on the water, both in its liquid and frozen state. He spends winters working as a ski patroller at Okemo Mountain in Vermont and his summers with the AQ team in the BVI. Starting as a shipmate in 2005, Aaron joined our staff in 2009 as our compression boat skipper and EMT. Aaron's professional credentials include MCA Master of Yachts 200 Ton Offshore, EMT equivalency certificate, and PADI Divemaster Certification. Always the handyman, Aaron can be found spending his free time keeping busy with multiple carpentry projects.

Gwen- mate/ medic

Raised on Massachusetts north shore, Gwen has never been far from the ocean. A water sports enthusiast and avid boater, surprisingly, Gwen was not introduced to the world of sailing until she spent the fall of 2013 on Sea|mesters Ocean Star. There she fell in love with the program and vowed to return. While she plans future adventures, such as earning her Yachtmaster, Gwen can be found on Maines coast at the University of New England, where she is pursuing a degree in Oceanography and Education, as well as rowing with the college's crew team. Gwen joins ActionQuest in 2014 for her first summer holding a Wilderness First Responder certification as well as basic sailing and SCUBA certifications.

Emma- dive instructor

Emma was raised in Devon, in the Southwest of England, where she spent much of her time near or on the water. She discovered her love of diving in the much warmer climate of Australia on the Great Barrier Reef, where she completed her first PADI Open Water certificate. She has a passion for teaching and learning, having graduated with a degree in education at Bath Spa University, and continuing on to train as a teacher at the University of Exeter. Emma worked as a teacher in London until she decided to combine her two passions to become a PADI Open Water Diving Instructor. She has dived in many different countries around the world and fell in love with the British Virgin Islands, where she trained as a Divemaster. Along with PADI certifications, she also recently gained her STCW 95 certificate in boat safety. In her spare time, Emma likes to paint landscapes and seascapes of places she has visited and being inspired by. Her artwork can be seen in the Royal Parks in London, where she was recently commissioned to paint a wildlife picture for their information boards.