Location: West End, Tortola

Sailing back to West End, our home port in Tortola one final time, gives us a chance to reflect on this incredible journey. We have more than a circumnavigation of Tortola with many memorable stops along the way. Our many great dives included the famous RMS Rhone. We shared shore time and beach BBQ’s in various ports such as Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Jost van Dyke, and others. We have also shared our time, thoughts, and love on our boat and our whole community and in our respective programs. Last night our shipmates finished their presentations and exams. Our Dolphins Amanda, Ivy, and Wilks presented the culmination of all the research that they have conducted over the last three weeks. Their project investigated the variation between species of fish reaction time and wariness to divers when presented with food.

Additionally, Amanda particularly enjoyed our day at the Baths on Virgin Gorda, Ivy loved the wonderful tropical fish, and Wilks enjoyed wakeboarding and ski time. The Barracudas, Mackie, John, JJ, Hamzah, Noah, Margret, and Gabriel joined the Dolphins in some very cool marine science activities including turtle tagging where we caught and released a Hawksbill turtle, which was enjoyed by all. The Barracudas also spent time training for their advanced diver certification, night, naturalist and boat diver specialties. Beyond their academics, Hamzah and Noah most enjoyed the Baths, Mackie loved seeing the giant tarpon on the night dives, John likes free diving at Mountain Point at the sea urchin cove. JJ loved our day at the Lava Flow, Gabriel loved meeting new people and Margret’s favorite moment was having pasta salad poured on her on deck. The Neptunes and Barracuda academic experience concluded in a test of their dive training for their specialties. Neptunes trained for advanced, wreck, night, naturalist, boat, and equipment specialties. Beyond these courses, Juan and Federico loved all the dives we did, and Istvan liked the diving but LOVED the beach parties. On our final day, the staff is most looking forward through to the boat cleaning, and I suspect the shipmates are looking forward to the closing BBQ, though we are all sad with the impending goodbyes.