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British Virgin Islands - 2023, Session 3

Staff Blog

Location: West End, BVI

Welcome to Odyssey! Over the next 17 days, we will be filling you in on all of our adventures, inside jokes, diving, sailing, and general fun-having through this blog. While we wait for our shipmates to arrive today for their very first day, we’d love to introduce you to the staff of Odyssey. After three FABULOUS weeks on the water for session two, doing everything from dinghy backflips to diving shipwrecks, sailing in 2 races, and creating boom swings, we cannot wait to kick off session 3! Today, we scrubbed the boat from top to bottom, filled every crevice with food, and planned out how we could cram the most excitement possible into 17 days that will surely fly by. We are SO thrilled to meet you all and see what this session holds - but before we do that, let’s tell you a little bit about us.

Meet your staff!
Tait (skipper)
Tait Brencher 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!

Beth (Scuba instructor/ medic):
Beth Rathgeb grew up on the coast of sunny southwest Florida and discovered her love for the ocean at a very young age. She seized every opportunity to be near, in, or on the water. Whether fishing, wakeboarding, sailing, or surfing, Beth and her siblings always found their way to the coast. Becoming scuba certified early was a natural fit for her lifestyle; she loved exploring the underwater world Florida offered. Then, as a seventh grader, a new world presented itself! A friend asked Beth to go to a summer camp together, and this was her first taste of ActionQuest! Since 2015, Beth has spent every summer in the Virgin Islands as a student or a staff member. She also spent one semester aboard Seamester’s S/Y Argo. It’s clear she caught the bug, and she worked her way right up to scuba instructor. Thanks to AQ, Beth also realized her love for travel. Throughout high school, she took many trips to experience the world for herself. She explored countries from almost every continent! Beth plans to conquer the land, sea, and air! When she isn’t in the water, she can be found skydiving, riding her horses, or hanging out with her dogs! As a recent graduate as a registered nurse, Beth also holds her EMT license, Wilderness EMT license, BLS certification, and Emergency First Response Instructor. She is excited to continue sharing her love of adventure and hopes to instill her passion in others.

Sylvia (mate):
Sylvia Soria is from Indianapolis, Indiana. Growing up, she spent many summers at the lake with her cousins, wakeboarding, wake surfing, riding jet skis, and tubing. Sylvia is graduating this summer from the University of Denver as an Integrated Sciences major focusing on Biology and Geography and a Spanish minor. Sylvia loves the mountains and skiing, but being in Colorado made her realize how much she missed the water. Luckily while in college, she got to do two Atlantic crossings on S/Y Argo and S/Y Vela. Sylvia loved these trips so much that she decided to pursue a career in this area in the future, so Sylvia went to St Maarten to get her Yachtmaster. Sylvia is excited to get back on the water this summer!