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British Virgin Islands - 2014, Session 3

Staff Update Day 1: One More Time

Location: West End, Tortola

As we prepare for our final session of the summer, we are looking back at all the amazing things we have done, places we have been, certifications earned, and memories made. This, however, only makes us more excited about the prospect of doing it one more time! We have spent the past couple of days getting our wonderful vessel Therapy ready for the arrival of shipmates. All cleaned, bunks made, and snacks onboard. Skipper Cat and the two British marine biology instructors Mike and Jess are so excited to meet our new crew and get underway for the adventure of a lifetime. Thanks for lending us your students; well, see you in 17 days!

Staff Bios:

Cat, skipper/dive instructor

Cat is excited to be a first-year staff member at ActionQuest this summer. She received her PADI instructor certification in August 2008 and her Yachtmaster license after sailing on a Sea|mester voyage from Cape Town, South Africa to Antigua via Brazil in the spring of 2010. While this is her first summer as a staff member at ActionQuest, she has worked at similar companies for years and has run 12 programs, so she has experience with and passion for teaching sailing and scuba diving. Cat graduated from the University of Puget Sound in December 2011 with a degree in International Political Economy. She took a break from the sea last summer to serve as an Americorps volunteer but has returned to the Caribbean to be the skipper of this boat and could not be more excited to facilitate a summer of growth and adventure for every shipmate!


Jess -- dive instructor/mate
Jess, a second-year AQ staff member, hails from the UK. Although she has spent several years teaching recreational diving as a PADIMSDT, she also has commercial diving certifications and is qualified to teach through BSAC. Following an undergraduate degree in marine biology, she pursued a Masters in Biodiversity and Conservation and has only a year and a half left until she completes her Ph.D. in the field. When she's not studying or teaching others about the wonders of the underwater world, Jess can be found making a world-class cup of tea or doing the underwater Macarena.

Mike, dive instructor/mate

Mike came to ActionQuest in 2008 as a student on the Dolphin voyage. He learned to dive in England, where he grew up, and while studying, he has worked up to the level of Scuba Instructor. Mike completed a biology degree at Oxford University, specializing in marine ecology and plans to continue with research. He is particularly interested in coral reef ecology, evolution, and conservation and has studied in the Caribbean. For the last two years, Mike has worked as a Scuba instructor and marine educator at watersports centers in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, and the Maldives and has also worked as a counselor for summer camps in the US.