Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
This morning we woke up at 6:30am and I awoke to the view of the clear water next to my hammock; it was really perfect. Some of my shipmates did yoga as they watched the sunrise and then we were underway to the VISAR headquarters. Right when we arrived at VISAR, one of the head volunteers gave us a tour and then gave a short briefing on the program and what they all have to do for the job. (Editor’s Note: VISAR, Virgin Islands Search and Rescue, is an entirely volunteer organization committed to saving lives at sea in the Virgin Islands. The volunteers are regular people with normal occupations who have trained to respond to an issue on the water at any point in the day; whether they have just arrived at work or have just fallen asleep. There are about 45 of these volunteers associated with the organization.) Near the end of his talk with us he got a page to actually respond to a situation. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a huge problem, a boat nearby the headquarters just started to sink a bit. Our counselor Gwen (who is an EMT) was able to go on VISAR’s really cool boat to the accident. All of us then began to weed the plants in their parking lot and 5 of us (it rotated) jumped in the water where the rescue boat is usually docked and dredged their channel or shoveled out the dirt and made the water deeper so the boat wouldn’t be in shallow water. We worked for a few hours and then Elliot, David, Gwen and Anna surprised us all with pizza! Everyone thought our lunch would be PB&Js or deli meats but really they treated us to pizza. Once we finished the pizza the VISAR volunteers treated us with popsicles which was also really great! Before getting back to work we all played a few rounds of the game “Big Booty” which is really funny and sort of hard. We continued to dredge and weed and once the work was noticeably different we headed back to our boat and drove to Moorings dock in Road Town and we got to use real showers down at the dock. That was probably the highlight of the day because you don’t really realize how much you should appreciate showers back at home. Finally to wrap up the day we went back to Great Harbor Peter (where we slept last night) and had breakfast for dinner. I would have to say, today was pretty great!