Location: West End, Tortola
Two whirlwind sessions of sailing, scuba diving, watersports, marine biology, and cultural exchange have already passed in a flash. With over 330 students from all over the globe who have participated in ActionQuest programs this summer alone, were more ready than ever to welcome a new group of energetic teenagers onto the dock here at Sopers Hole Marina, West End. And especially, onto the hardy French monohull Ka Ou Fe. Skipper Tor, who has been captain of Ka Ou Fe since the start of session I this summer, knows the boat inside and out. Over her years spent at ActionQuest, she has risen well beyond her original skillset as a dive instructor to become one of the most accomplished skippers on the program. First mate Ian also spent session I aboard Ka Ou Fe, and then went on to skipper Squeakybrat during session II. They make an impressive sailing duo; no waters are too choppy for them to traverse safely! From boat mechanics and ship systems to sailing and expertly navigating uncharted waters, Tor and Ian are an impeccable team ready to pass on their sailing knowledge to Ka Ou Fes, new shipmates. While Tor and Ian have a well of sailing knowledge to offer, I complete the trio with my role as a diving instructor. The underwater world of the BVI has much to offer and will surely wow Ka Ou Fes group of students with its crystal blue clarity, an abundance of fish life, colorful corals, and fascinating shipwrecks. Whether students are new to diving or continuing their diving education, I am delighted to share the wonders of the BVIs dive sites with them throughout our voyage. In a nutshell, were absolutely thrilled to welcome our new group of wonderful shipmates aboard Ka Ou Fe. We’ve been putting our hearts into readying the dock, the boats, the equipment, and learning materials for YOUR arrival. But most importantly of all, we cannot wait to meet you, get to know you and share this exhilarating experience with you. Let’s live life activated.
Here’s an introduction to the crew of Ka Ou Fe:
Born and raised in Northern California, Tor knew she was meant for a life full of adventure. Growing up, she spent her summers traveling to Sweden to visit family and learning how to sail out in the archipelago. After high school, Tor headed north and attended the University of Oregon. In the fall of 2008, she sailed with Seamester from Australia to Thailand as a student. Upon returning to University, Tor attained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Physiology and also discovered her true love of diving in the murky giant kelp forest-waters off the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. After receiving her instructor certification in Oregon, she spent time gaining experience as an Instructor teaching diving in Honduras. In 2010 Tor joined the ActionQuest team and now works with ActionQuest and Seamester as a diving instructor and Captain. With Seamester, and AQ, Tor plans to advance her sail training and continue to develop her teaching style and career as an outdoor educator.
Hailing from the city of champions, Ian enjoyed his childhood adventuring in Boston’s suburbs and learned to sail on the waters of the mighty Charles River. From there, he attended the University of Rhode Island, where he graduated from in 2013 with a B.S. in Ocean Engineering with a specialization in autonomous vehicle and instrumentation design. While at university, Ian got involved with the volunteer emergency medical services corps on campus and earned an EMT-B license. Since graduation, he has been working on the water for the Block Island Ferry Company and working on the streets of Providence, Rhode Island, as an EMT. Ian began working with ActionQuest in the summer of 2013 and is excited to experience his third summer in the beautiful British Virgin Islands, working and learning together with students and staff.
Katja: dive instructor/mate
As the daughter of a South African farmer and a German mother, Katja grew up in the idyllic farmlands surrounding Cape Town. Her love for nature emerged at an early age, and she went on to study video journalism with the aim of becoming an environmental journalist. When she enrolled as an ActionQuest shipmate in 2011, Katja discovered her unending fascination with the underwater world. She has since dived in South Africa, the Mediterranean, Honduras, and Indonesia and has come full circle by returning to the BVI as a PADI instructor and underwater videographer.