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British Virgin Islands - 2015, Session 3

Bella Vita Staff Update Day One

Location: West End, Tortola

La Bella Vita is once again prepared for another awesome adventure in the BVI with Max, Shona, and myself looking forward to meeting new shipmates. For now, the dock is quiet, but soon the hive of activity will commence as we set sail for numerous islands, dive sites, and beautiful bays. Who's ready for the summer of a lifetime?!
Here's an introduction to the crew of La Bella Vita:
Martin ("Smudge"): skipper
Martin, more commonly known 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 BVI's 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.
Max: dive instructor/mate
Born and raised in London, UK, Max longed to escape the city and grew up with a passion for adventure. He started diving with his dad at age 11 and learned to sail on an icy lake at school. When he joined AQ as a shipmate in 2008, he fell in love with the BVI and knew he would come back one day. Max became a Divemaster in Egypt and then returned home to study at Cambridge University, where he ran the scuba diving club and learned to love the chilly waters of the UK. But he longed to return to the tropics, and after earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology, he moved to Indonesia to become a PADI Instructor. Max can't wait to share his passion for diving, sailing and marine science this summer.
Shona: mate
Shona is from Ireland and grew up sailing on the west coast of Ireland. She is looking forward to sailing in the warmer waters of the Caribbean this summer. In 2013 she graduated with a degree in Outdoor Education & Geography from Galway, Mayo Institute of Technology. While finishing her degree, she also acquired her day skipper and dinghy instructorships. She has always had a great love of the outdoors, especially water sports, and is delighted to have found a career that allows her to embrace her passions.