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British Virgin Islands - 2015, Session 1

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. Preparing for our upcoming trip started long before the staff of Surprise arrived in the British Virgin Islands in early June. We have been loading scuba gear, sorting food, planning dives, and making our beloved Surprise shine. Now we are patiently awaiting the arrival of our students so we can begin our journey. One of my favorite parts of the trip is watching our students meet each other for the first time, knowing that in just three short weeks, they will hardly be able to remember a time when they didn't know one another. Every trip is different and memorable in its own way, solely due to the unique and amazing people on board. No matter what happens, I know this session we're all in for a great surprise!'

Here's an introduction to the crew of Surprise:

Marina- skipper/dive instructor

Growing up in Sarasota, FL, Marina's passion for the ocean began at a young age. She joined AQ in 2006 as a shipmate on the Dolphin voyage and continued on completing two Atlantic crossings aboard Argo with Sea|mester. Marina graduated from Florida State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology. She holds PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, AAUS Scientific diver, WFR, and STCW-95 certifications and has interned at Mote Marine and Pritzker Marine Research laboratories. Marina has worked with AQ since 2011 and is now the director of the Marine Science program.

Chance-dive instructor/mate

Chance was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and is currently finishing his degree in biology at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he is the captain of the varsity sailing team. Having discovered scuba diving at the young age of 10, the underwater world opened the door to a very adventurous lifestyle and an incredibly outgoing personality. Having found ActionQuest by accident turned out to be a stroke of luck, and after participating in multiple sessions in the British Virgin Islands as well as crossing an ocean onboard their college vessel S/Y Argo, Chance will be joining the ActionQuest team as a dive instructor in order to give back to a program that changed his life.


Born and raised in the Gulf of Mexico, Rachel has always had a love for the water. She has been diving since she was ten years old, and last summer, she received her Divemaster certification at ActionQuest. Rachel is currently pursuing a biology degree from the University of Mississippi, where she is involved in numerous service organizations. Her passion for service began four years ago when she spent a month of her summer volunteering in Belize. Rachel received her Wilderness First Responder certification last year and plans to pursue a medical degree. She can't wait to be back in the BVI to share her passion for the water with others!