Meet the Crew!
Location: West End, Tortola
It’s a beautiful day here in our home port of West End, Tortola, and officially the start of 2nd session! The dock is bustling with final boat preparations and staff eagerly awaiting the arrival of all of our students. Over the past few days on Saleya, we’ve loaded food onto the boat, set up all of the dive gear (we’re the dive boat for Sail Side B!), and have been getting more and more excited about the amazing adventure we’re about to have with our 12 shipmates over the next 3 weeks.
Here is an introduction to the crew of Saleya:
Claire - Skipper
Claire grew up in Houston and had her first experience sailing during her gap year on a Seamester voyage from Darwin, Australia, to Cape Town, South Africa, on S/Y Argo. After an amazing semester, she decided to keep sailing and ended up staying in Cape Town to complete her Yachtmaster Ocean license. Claire is currently in engineering school at the University of Virginia and is a member of their club sailing team. She’s super excited to have the opportunity to work at AQ this summer and help create a fantastic experience for all of her students.
Julie - Dive Instructor
Julie’s voyage with GXG began as an ActionQuest student in 2004. She quickly became an AQ regular in the summers to thaw out from the winters in her hometown of Madison, WI. After becoming a divemaster with AQ in 2009 and eventually a PADI instructor, Julie worked for GXG for many years as a mate/dive instructor. While she has spent most of her time in the BVI on ActionQuest programs, she did a stint as staff on Ocean Star, where she gained an appreciation for longer sailing adventures and rougher seas. While attending Wellesley College, Julie spent one of her semesters abroad in rural Baja California Sur, Mexico, researching marine mammals and biodiversity conversation. Apart from ocean life, Julie’s other passion is public health. She took a hiatus from GXG to pursue a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and has since been conducting health care research in Washington, DC. In her free time, Julie is an avid traveler and has been to 40+ countries across every continent – ask her about a week of scuba diving with Buzz Aldrin in the Cayman Islands. She can’t wait to meet all of her students this summer and get back in the water.
James - Mate/EMT
James was born and raised in northern California, never living very far from an ocean. Through his time in California, James developed a love for all water sports, including sailing, surfing, swimming, water polo, rafting, wakeboarding, and diving. He found his true passion for sailing after a voyage onboard S/Y Argo from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean as a student with Seamester in the fall of 2018. During the school year, James is a student at Baylor University working towards his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In addition, James is also an EMT with about a year of experience on ambulances. James is very excited to be reuniting with GXG in the British Virgin Islands for a summer full of sailing, diving, watersports, and overall fun!