Location: Great Harbour, Peter Island
Panacea, or PanaSEA, in our case: defined as a cure-all (surprisingly not a fantasy about pants’, as was originally assumed). This sums it up for us; our beautiful boat has brought us all together to provide us boundless opportunities and seemingly endless adventures, and we’re only ten days in! As staff, we have to admit we had high hopes when we told our Pandas’ that we were destined to be the dancing boat.’ It turns out Rocio, Christian A, Christian P, and Connor took us quite seriously and led our boat to become the dancing boat! Music or not, everything conducted on board becomes a dance party, which pretty well demonstrates the spirit of our shipmates. Jellyfish keeping us out of the water? That’s fine; we’ve got a nice dance deck. Downpour? It’s cool; we’ve still got Shakira. Upbeat shipmates, great tunes, and ridiculous new dance moves have fueled this atmosphere, and (when we can catch a breath between laughing episodes) we’ve admired how they’ve been able to create some ideal memories from some questionable natural conditions. Dancing aside, our shipmates have become an eclectic family of team players who get things done, while consistently surpassing our expectations. A genuine sense of curiosity and willingness to learn, not only about diving and marine science but also about how the boat works, island history and culture, etc., has made our jobs even more meaningful. Whether it be teaching Megan and Milly how to use the windlass anchor (surprise! We don’t need to pull it up by hand!) or watching Lauren pilot us through the islands like a seasoned skipper, it’s clear how much new knowledge our shipmates have absorbed. As early on as Day 8, we were able to entrust the boat to our shipmates, and it’s been incredible to observe how capable they are at successfully managing and running the space; not just as our mode of transportation and a dive platform, but also as a home for 16 people. Boat life has been kind to us. We’re happy, healthy, and looking forward to what the second half of the session will bring. Right now, I can smell Jason and Julia’s pancakes, and I can hear Alanna TWO SIX’ing the mainsail up for our sail to Trellis Bay. I’m personally excited to watch my Neptune divers – Parker, Maddi, Julia, Alanna, and Pete – plan, navigate and complete a night dive in their buddy teams, sans instructor in a few days. We will also be using our new wreck diving skills to dive the Chickuzin, a sunken Japanese refrigerator ship. There’s still a lot to look forward to in the next ten days, and I do not doubt that they’ll be filled with gorgeous dives, hilarious episodes, and Funky Pandas.