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British Virgin Islands - 2014, Session 3

Staff Update

Location: West End, Tortola

Wow, the second session seemed to absolutely fly by, 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 Sambamba, and today, the new flags have been raised, and the colors of ActionQuest are proudly flapping on the mast. Sambamba 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), Smudge, and Kelly to welcome the new shipmates onboard there new home! Let the adventures begin!
Martin, more commonly known as Smudge to friends and colleagues, recently became an RYA/MCA Yachtmaster (offshore) while also graduating as a Master of Science in Sports Coaching back home in the UK. Formerly a British Army mechanic and university lecturer, Smudge coaches and plays rugby union when he's not on the water. His most recent adventure was with, sailing from London, England to St. Petersburg, Russia onboard a Clipper 60 round the world racing yacht. Summer camp experience comes from two seasons with Camp Winaukee in New Hampshire and one season with over 60 different nationalities at Millfield English Language School. Completely sporting mad, he also teaches himself to surf and play golf in his spare time. This is Smudge's first season with AQ but the second time in the BVIs, after participating in a British Army race crew at the 2009 Spring Regatta.
Kelly- Mate
Kelly grew up in St.Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Arkansas. She sailed with our college program Sea|mester onboard S/Y Argo in the fall of 2012. Since then, she has explored her passion for sailing and scuba diving by obtaining her IYT Master of Yachts and PADI Divemaster certification. Kelly joined our office team in the Spring of 2013 and works with ActionQuest admissions and enrollments during the year. This will be her first summer in the islands, and she is so excited to meet the students she has been working with over the past year!
Emma-dive instructor
Emma was raised in Devon, in the South West 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.