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British Virgin Islands - 2016, Session 1

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

Setup is quickly winding down and the crew of 'Surprise!' is getting super excited for the arrival of our students. We have 14 Divemaster candidates inbound today and could not be more thrilled! Chance, Katja and I know this will be a great trip. We have 12 returning shipmates and 2 ActionQuest newcomers, which will make for a phenomenal group aboard our catamaran! From dinghy sailing to hiking, and of course a lot of diving, 'Surprise!' is ready to make it happen! Stay tuned for more to come from the wonderful crew of 'Surprise!'the special ops team!
Here is an introduction to the crew of Surprise:
Simon: Skipper/Dive Instructor
Simon was born in Scotland, and since leaving the UK has lived in Honduras, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere around, above, and below the Pacific Ocean. His attraction to water is understandable due to his rainy upbringing, and the gravitation to sunny climes is therefore just as predictable. Simon loves traveling and diving and has been fortunate enough to have spent over a decade in a career that allows him to do both.  He holds certifications as an RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore 200t, PADI Master Instructor (training dive professionals since 2005), CPR/First Aid Instructor Trainer, Cave and Technical Diver, as well as a bachelors degree from the University of Glasgow in Molecular Biology. Since first joining ActionQuest in the summer of 2013 as a dive instructor, Simon has logged over 25,000 miles at sea and is excited to rejoin the team this year in the additional role of skipper.  In the same period he has still managed to run around 2,500 miles (on land) and hopes to complete his first marathon in New York later this year.
Katja: Dive Instructor/Mate
As the daughter of a South African farmer and a German mother, Katja grew up in the idyllic farmlands surrounding Cape Town. Her love for nature emerged at an early age, and she went on to study video journalism with the aim of becoming an environmental journalist. When she enrolled as an ActionQuest shipmate in 2011, Katja discovered her unending fascination with the underwater world. She has since dived in South Africa, the Mediterranean, Honduras and Indonesia and has come full circle by returning to the BVI as a PADI instructor.
Chance: Dive Instructor/Mate
Chance is returning for his second summer as an ActionQuest staff member, where he will be teaching and organizing introductory diving. During the past nine months Chance returned to his sunny home state of Florida to finish his senior year at Rollins College, where he completed his bachelors degree in biology with a focus on infectious diseases. Chance discovered scuba diving at the young age of 10, and the underwater world opened the door to a very adventurous lifestyle and incredibly outgoing personality. Finding 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 is continuing to share his passion for diving and sailing at the program he claims changed his life.