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British Virgin Islands - 2016, Session 3

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

Welcome to La Bella Vita! Walking down the West End dock lined with all our vessels, it's hard to believe it's already the end of July and the start of Session 3. Looking down our berthing list at our mix of advanced divers, sailors and Vega students, I can hardly wait our shipmates to arrive. Alex, Shona and I have spent the past couple days cleaning and preparing dinghies, Picos, marlinspike kits, and other program gear before loading our own boat with all the supplies needed for our upcoming adventure. Our cupboards are packed with dry goods, our fridges are full of fresh fruits, veggies, cheese and meat, our shelves hold the books for our Open Waters, Adv Open Waters, Basic Crew, and Flotilla Skippers and the dive gear has been distributed throughout the fleet. Now all we need is to set sail!

Here is an introduction to the crew of Bella Vita:

Carolyn- skipper

Born 500 meters from the ocean in Rhode Island, Carolyn has been drawn to it from a young age. After being bitten by the sailing bug at 18 she spent her summers working on classic sailboats. She graduated from Brown University with a BA in International Relations in May 2014, and decided to take to the waters on any boat with sails. Having grown up with a French mother and German father, Carolyn has been traveling for as long as she can remember. Wanting to spend more time in the places she visited, Carolyn began to seek out work opportunities abroad. Her most recent experiences include conducting sociology research in India, teaching English in Mauritius, and working on sheep and cattle ranches in Australia. Since the fall of 2014 she has combined her love of the sea and living abroad by working aboard sailing vessels on the northern shores of New Zealand.

Alex- dive instructor/mate

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Alexander has spent most of his life living in Ottawa, Ontario. After graduating from Carleton University in 2012, he became a certified Event Manager at Algonquin College. While working as a wedding and corporate DJ for over 6 years and managing a restaurant, he volunteered his spare time teaching teenagers and adults boxing at his local MMA gym. After the tragic passing of one of his friends, he decided to change his life. In March 2015, Alexander took up scuba diving. He went traveling, for the first time in his life, to Utila, Honduras where he completed his PADI Open Water and Advanced courses. He then came back to Canada to complete his Rescue and Divemaster training. By September, he was on his way to Thailand where he became a PADI Open Water and EFR Instructor, and then immediately a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Since then, he has worked with a prestigious live aboard company in the Similan Islands. Alexander’s passions include cooking, DJing, hiking, boxing, and scuba diving.

Shona- mate

Shona is returning for her second year with ActionQuest and is super excited to spend another summer in the beautiful sunny Caribbean. She graduated in 2013 after studying outdoor education and geography on the west coast of Ireland. From a young age she has loved to sail and spent as much time as possible in the water and exploring. Shona also has a keen interest in drama and spent a year studying performing arts. Her love for adventure sports took a new direction when she moved to Switzerland after university and discovered snowboarding, and over the past three years she has split her time between the mountains and ocean. Shona has a great love for the outdoors and the benefits that can come from experiential education. Her goal is to inspire and educate her students in a fun safe learning environment.