Location: Road Harbor, Tortola
After helping with training exercises yesterday for VISAR, we woke up early for a dinghy ride to the actual VISAR (Virgin Island Search and Rescue) base in Road Harbor on Tortola. Purely volunteer-based, VISAR receives little funding from the government and relies mostly on people like us for upkeep around its base. When we all first got there, we were able to get a look around the base and see how the pulley system for the rescue boat worked, as well as learning a little bit more about the workings of the organization. Soon after this, we started working both inside and outside the building, some going through inventory and painting shelves, and others weeding, raking gravel, and doing landscaping. After doing this for a while, we escaped into the air conditioning for lunch, where we were split into two groups: one group to dredge the channel that VISAR launches their rescue boat from and another group (which I was in) to paint a huge storage container a lovely shade called “safety orange.” Armed with paint brushes, rollers, ladders, gloves, and several cans of industrial strength paint, we set to work in the hot sun next to the metal container. Meanwhile, the other group got in the water of the channel with buckets. It was a full day of hard work but rewarding knowing we were helping out the volunteers of VISAR that work hard to save the lives of people like us on the water.