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British Virgin Islands - 2023, Session 2

Staff Blog

Location: West End, Tortola

Welcome to Shape Up, the only monohull in the AQ fleet! Here at Shape Up, we run the Quest program, which we like to think of as the AQ taste test. Over the next 21 days, we will be posting to keep you updated on your student's journey as they sail, dive, snorkel, cook, clean, and do community service their way through the BVI. As we wait here on the dock for our session two students, who we are beyond excited to meet, we would like to take the time to introduce you to the three staff members who will be guiding your students during their time with AQ!

Amelia grew up sailing dinghies in the Outer Banks and continued sailing in Connecticut at Mystic Seaport Museum. She has worked at Mystic Seaport as a sailing instructor and Waterfront Director for the past four years, but is excited to become an instructor with ActionQuest! Amelia will be going into her senior year at William and Mary, where she is studying biology. She was lucky to be a student on Vela for fall 2022, where she sailed across the Atlantic! Amelia looks forward to using the skills she learned on Seamester to be part of the ActionQuest staff.

Program Director-
Tait was born and raised on the ocean, splitting time between Cape Cod and the Thimble Islands. As a toddler, she began her sailing career on her family's boat before turning to race Optis at six. Since then, Tait has sailed on 420s, Lightenings, J24s, Sonars, Dyer Dhows, J92s, Flying Tigers, and more! She has been working as a sailing instructor since the age of eighteen. Tait's love of blue-water sailing began when she completed an Atlantic crossing with Seamester in the fall of 2018. Off the water, Tait is a skiing instructor, avid reader, and creative writer. She has just graduated from Skidmore College, double majoring in theater for directing and English for writing. Tait is so excited to return to the water this summer and cannot wait to meet a new group of enthusiastic adventurers to explore the ocean with!


Riley spent most of his early life and teenage years racing dinghies, keelboats, performance catamarans, and other racing-oriented sailboats. Riley had his boating license by age 12, First Aid/CPR certification by 15, and became a Level 1 and 2 U.S. Sailing Certified coach at age 17. Riley also gained a Pre-Engineering Certification through his high school and spent time building docks and seawalls in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. He has participated in multiple World Championship regattas on the east coast of the U.S. and began some Olympic training in the Nacra 17 class in 2021. Riley spent four years as a race team sailing coach for a community-based sailing program in Sarasota, Florida, where he met Travis, Mike, and the majority of the GXG office team. Riley joined ActionQuest in 2021 as a mate. Since then, he has joined the office during the year as an enrollment advisor and has spent time in Thailand working on a S/Y Argo refit project for Seamester. Riley spends almost all his time on the water, whether it be sailing, surfing, fishing, or any other sport on or in the water. When it comes to teaching, Riley is dedicated to teaching the sport that he has learned to love in an easy and fun environment, even though his background is mainly focused on high-performance racing. Riley also has some experience in organic produce farming and mollusk/crustacean farming throughout the Southeast United States.