Location: West End, Tortola

Rescue ready…….and then some!!!

It’s the final day of the final session and we honestly couldn’t be happier with how this group has bonded together and formed an incredible team of rescue divers and friends.

All the shipmates are returners and knew what to expect with their time on board. As with all group they spent the first few days getting to know new faces and catching up with close friends from previous years. The group dynamic really took off at the first BBQ/dance party at Leverick Bay, where the whole group hung out together all evening, with Kyle and Cate aiming for the best dancer awards.

We were lucky enough to meet Gabe two days before we set sail, as he was staying in-between sessions. He is a genuine natural leader and an all-around good guy. He has learned a lot about sailing and it shows, always volunteering to help out the staff and clearly enjoying the moments he got to take the helm.

Quite early on in the trip, we got time to sit and chat with Callie, who has some amazing traveling stories for someone so young. She is a great girl and also becoming an excellent diver, which was shown clearly during our rescue ’fun dive’, where she performed almost perfectly, rescuing Dan when he was simulating an out of air emergency. We also really enjoyed my time talking with Madison, who has an equally awesome taste in music and reading as Dan. She also managed to take on the task of note-taking and information gathering for emergency medical services, which is one of the key roles during our complex rescue scenarios.

Kyle and Julien were difficult to separate during the trip, we can imagine them being roommates later in life. In all seriousness though, they are both fantastic guys. They are smart, funny, hardworking and were a pleasure to teach, even if they come as a pair. Their performance at the end of rescue scenarios proved this, as they took frontline leadership roles and were highly effective in their efforts.

One of our personal highlights of the trip is our onboard trivia night. We challenged the shipmates to a mixture of rescue, first aid, general knowledge and pop culture questions in a big team event. This is where Savannah and Eiraan shone and their hard work came to fruition. They helped drive their team into the lead by the end of the quiz and even helped their team to win the final bonus round!!

Cate and Tara are incredibly close and this showed most when they were diving together in a very effective buddy team. Whenever we set a challenging task, such as lift bag use or complex navigation, they worked together to complete the problem with ease and better still, they did it with huge smiles on their faces.

We are definitely big fans of Alex’s, he is naturally quieter than some of the others, but this can definitely be a good thing in an enclosed space for 17 days. What really impressed us is how well he manages to get along with everyone and always seems to be having a great time. He is an excellent diver and performed every task thrown at him with ease.

Claire and Sofia are two great girls that we would happily spend all lot of time with. They both had great individual characters, but equally bring out the best in each other, especially when diving together to solve problems under water. We remember when they made a little mistake on a search and recovery dive, instead of panicking, they remained totally calm, figured out where they had gone wrong and then completed the task perfectly.

Last, but not least is probably one of the most entertaining shipmates we have worked with. Nolan has a great sense of humor and was a blast to have on board. We believe he was a big influence on how well the whole group came together in that first week and proved to be a great friend to all. Already a very knowledgeable sailor, Nolan’s diving has improved dramatically and he deserves a lot of credit for the progress he has made.

Overall, a fantastic end to a great summer. We wish everyone from session 3 the best of luck and hope to see you all diving again in the future.

Matt, Alisa & Dan