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British Virgin Islands - 2017, Session 3

Happy Our Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

As day one of session three is upon us, we three staff aboard Happy Our are ensuring that our floating home is ship-shape and ready to embark on an incredible 17 day journey. The scuba tanks are filled and ready for incredible dives, our decks are scrubbed, and Happy Our is ready to set sail in the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Over the next few weeks, our students will dive in some of the most pristine waters in the world, see some awe-inspiring coral reefs, and swim through some incredible wrecks. We are so excited to show this group of shipmates the wonders of these incredible islands, and we know that the next 17 days are going to be incredible!

Here is an introduction to the crew of Happy Our:

Cat- skipper/dive instructor/WFR

Cat was born and raised in West Texas and has since made it her mission to be closer to the sea. She spends as much time as she can on the water in her new home, Seattle, Washington. She became a PADI Scuba Instructor when she was 18 years old and has taught diving from the BVI all the way down to Grenada! Cat also holds both an IYT and USCG captain's license as well as her Wilderness First Responder certification. Cat attended the University of Puget Sound and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors degree in International Political Economy. While at university she took a quick break to sail across the Atlantic with Seamester aboard Argo and was forever changed! She now plans her life around traveling and has been to all 7 continents. In the winter she teaches skiing in the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest and is attempting to teach herself to snowboard. She loves riding around on her longboard, listening to podcasts, and laughing at her own jokes. Cat plans to pursue a masters degree in teaching and hopes to inspire others with her love of science!

Oscar- dive instructor/mate

Oscar is currently a college student at Kenyon college studying Modern Languages/Literature and Studio Art. He is fluent in English and French and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese. This coming fall Oscar will be studying Mandarin Chinese in Hangzhou, China, and in the Spring he will be studying in Montpellier, France. Oscar has been a shipmate with ActionQuest from 2010 - 2015 and has been staff since 2016.

Lauren- dive instructor/mate

Lauren grew up on the east coast of Florida where she enjoyed scuba diving with her family and developed a love for surfing. Hoping to get a taste of the west coast, Lauren worked a summer on Catalina Island as a skin diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding instructor. She then graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Marine Biology, during which she assisted with teaching open water diving at USF and worked as a trip leader for the university's Outdoor Recreation program. She has since continued her diving education, and become an open water diving instructor. Lauren hops on any boat that floats, including sailboats in Fiji and the Caribbean, and research vessels in Florida, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia. Some of her land-based hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, and eating tacos.