Location: West End, Tortola
Session two has started, and Tor, Shona, and I could not be more excited to meet our new shipmates and set sail on our 50-foot yacht, Ka Ou Fe. We arrived at West End two days ago to say farewell to our shipmates from session one, and now we are busy preparing for the next adventure. The sunny dock is a hive of activity as we stock and service our nine monohulls and six catamarans; ActionQuest flags flapping in the breeze overhead. Yesterday we packed Ka Ou Fe’s cabinets with enough food for three weeks’ delicious meals, all to be cooked by the shipmates; we filled her water and fuel tanks and charged the batteries, and we scrubbed the dinghies that we will tow for shore trips and diving. Today our skipper Tor is busy making plans and coordinating with the rest of the fleet, while Shona makes the finishing touches stocking the boat, and I check all our dive gear. Ka Ou Fe is finally starting to look like a home, and we are thrilled to meet the twelve smiling faces we will be sharing it with. As everyone gets to know each other over our first night’s meal of tortellini, we’ll know that all the hard work was worth it. The following morning it will be time to cast off from the dock and sail to our first destination, The Bight. We will spend our first few days learning the basics of sailing, starting some scuba diving theory, snorkeling, and wakeboarding. We can’t wait!
Here is an introduction to the crew of Ka Ou F:
Tor: Skipper/Sail Instructor
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.
Max: Dive Instructor/Mate
Born and raised in London, UK, Max longed to escape the city and grew up with a passion for adventure. He started diving with his dad at age 11 and learned to sail on an icy lake at school. When he joined AQ as a shipmate in 2008, he fell in love with the BVI and knew he would come back one day. Max became a Divemaster in Egypt and then returned home to study at Cambridge University, where he ran the scuba diving club and learned to love the chilly waters of the UK. But he longed to return to the tropics, and after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology, he moved to Indonesia to become a PADI Instructor. Max can’t wait to share his passion for diving, sailing and marine science this summer.
Shona: Sail Instructor/Mate
Shona is from Ireland and grew up sailing on the west coast of Ireland. She is looking forward to sailing in the warmer waters of the Caribbean this summer. In 2013 she graduated with a degree in Outdoor Education & Geography from Galway, Mayo Institute of Technology. While finishing her degree, she also acquired her day skipper and dinghy instructorships. She has always had a great love of the outdoors, especially water sports, and is delighted to have found a career that allows her to embrace her passions.