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British Virgin Islands - 2015, Session 2

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

With session one under our belts, Smudge, Ivan and I are so excited to meet the new crew of La Bella Vita! We have stocked the boat full of food, and are counting down the hours until our shipmates arrive. We have organized the snorkel gear, and the boat is prepped with sailing guides. We are so excited for everyone to arrive and to start learning! Our first sail is tomorrow, and we can't wait for this adventure to begin!
Here is an introduction to the crew of Bella Vita
Martin Smudge: Skipper/ Sail Instructor
Martin, more commonly know as Smudge to friends and colleagues, 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. Adventures with have seen Smudge act as Second Mate 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 plays golf in his spare time. This is Smudge's second season with AQ, and previous experience in the BVIs comes from participating in a British Army race crew at the 2009 Spring Regatta. This spring, Smudge sailed Seamester vessel Argo from Cape Town, South Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean, fulfilling the roles of First Mate, Engineer, and Sailing instructor, whilst also achieving his Advanced Open Water PADI diving certificate.
Ivan: Dive Instructor/Mate
Born and raised in Cancun, Mexico, Ivan has always been in contact with the ocean. With scuba diving being the family business, he grew up around scuba tanks and dive instructors and took his first breaths underwater at age 8. He came to ActionQuest in the summer of 2011 to expand his knowledge of sailing and diving and returned to become a Divemaster in 2013 and became an instructor later that year. Ivan is currently an exchange student at Boston University and is on his way to a degree in international business. He hopes to continue his diving and sailing career in the future and strives to share with his students the great experiences he had at ActionQuest as a teenager.
Rachel: WFR/ Mate
Born and raised on 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 service and the water with others!