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Caribbean Leeward Islands - 2018, Session 2

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End, Tortola

The crew of La Bella Vita has been hard at work over the past few days prepping for the start of session two. We are fully fooded, fueled, watered and ready to get going on this session. We have shipmates arriving from all over, and we are so excited to meet all of them for the first time. During our next 21 days we are going to explore the islands of Saba, Statia, Nevis, Antigua, and St. Barths and do some amazing sailing and land-based activities. We can't wait to kick off for this adventure and get going on the water!

Here is an introduction to the crew of La Bella Vita:

Smudge- Skipper

Martin, more commonly known as ‘Smudge’ to friends and colleagues, is a former British Army mechanic and university lecturer. His first major sailing trip saw him participate in the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta as part of a British Army race crew. He became an RYA/MCA Yachtmaster, while also graduating with a MSc in Sports Coaching, during 2014; continuing to play and coach all kinds of sport when he can. Adventures with Rubicon 3 have seen him sail from London, England to St. Petersburg, Russia on board a Clipper 60 round the world racing yacht; a yacht he has also crossed the Bay of Biscay on. In Spring 2015, Smudge was first mate aboard Sea|mester vessel S/Y Argo from Cape Town, South Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean, going on to captain Argo’s sister-ship Ocean Star throughout 2016. Originally trained as an RYA Cruising Instructor, Smudge became an ASA and IYT sailing instructor during 2017, while a resident in BVI, working for Tortola Sailing & Sights in Soper’s Hole. Since Hurricane Irma, Smudge has been residing in the UK as a trainee teacher with 5-11 year olds; also spending time learning French, the ukulele, and topping up his PADI Rescue Diver certificate. 2018 is Smudge’s fifth consecutive summer in the BVI.

Mara - Mate

Mara grew up in New York City and first came to AQ in 2013 as a new shipmate eager to learn sailing and diving for the first time. After four summers sailing as a student, she was completely hooked and went on to become a staff member. She recently took a gap year from college to sail with Sea|mester aboard S/Y Argo, crossing the Indian Ocean from Australia to South Africa, and traveling to get her dive instructor certification. She absolutely loves everything to do with the ocean and travel and could not possibly be more excited to work for the program that was so formative for her as a teenager. Mara will go on to attend the College of the Holy Cross this upcoming fall.

Margaux - Mate

Margaux was born and raised in Belmont, MA, a small town located outside of Boston. She started attending ActionQuest in 2015 as a shipmate where she learned to scuba dive and now is working as a sailing instructor. During the school year, she attends the University of Miami and is working towards a BS in Marine Science and Biology. She started sailing at a young age with her parents, bareboating around the British Virgin Islands and also sailing on a small lake in southern New Hampshire. When she is not scuba diving or sailing, she enjoys playing lacrosse, basketball, hiking, and skiing.