Location: West End, Tortola

We, the team on Blue Tide, cannot believe that our time with the crew is almost up. It has been an amazing session, and every member is sad to see it come to a close. This session we had students from three different programs onboard. Skye, Kate, Charlotte, Tereza, and Ava completed the Vega program, earning their PADI Open Water Diver certification and their IYT International Crew. Abby, Marius, and Liberty completed the Polaris program; earning their PADI Advanced Diver certification and IYT International Crew certificate. Thomas and Berni completed the Carina program, earning advanced certifications in both diving and sailing, as well as earning their VHF certification. Skye was our first skipper of the day and her hard work and positive attitude kicked off the session in a wonderful way. She also brought with her creative friendship bracelet and beading supplies, and not before long the boat was covered in colorful bracelets and our wrist and ankles were adorned with bracelets that would remind us of our time at AQ! Charlotte, Tereza, and Ava, especially, made so many bracelets they began making them for their friends, too! We then began having Rotation Days, which are action filled days where we all rotate through different activities, such as scuba diving, sail training, dinghy sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, knot tying and more. During the diving, our own Kayleigh was the advanced dive instructor. The advanced divers completed their first ever night dive. Abby was a little nervous about diving in the dark, but with the help of her loyal and talented dive buddy Liberty, she came back saying that the night dive was the “coolest thing ever.” She would also say that Liberty was the best dive buddy ever and that Liberty’s underwater facial expressions and gestures were outstanding. Liberty also made us all some delicious rice pudding one night! In between rotation days, we sailed from island to island, and during these sails the crew learned how to operate each part of the boat, eventually becoming independent sailors in time for the first race on day 17. Marius was skipper for the first race day and Berni shared his world champion racing skills with us and lead us to victory against Breakway in our first informal race, and to second place in the second race!! Tereza was the skipper for the third and final race, which Blue Tide WON!! Kate impressed us all with her strength and determination as she controlled the jib sheets by hand. The jib sheets themselves were a topic of conversation on board, as there were often tightened so that we could use them for exercise or for doing backflips. Charlotte and Skye were able to do backflips immediately! Anytime we had a small respite in between activities or after dinner, there was never a dull moment. Marius, who always had a smile on his face, revealed his goofiness more and more as the session went on. We all appreciated his cheerfulness. We also enjoyed listening to Irish music, and Charlotte, Kate, Skye, and Tom would all do an Irish jig on the coach house. In the evenings, we watched the meteor shower as dozens of stars streaked the sky. The Milky Way was bright and clear and beautiful as it arched over our heads and the galaxies of bioluminescence swirled beneath us. One night, the shipmates even chose to sit up on the bow looking at the stars and talking instead of having a movie night. This speaks to how close as a group we have become. What a grand adventure it’s been, these 17 expeditionary days out here on the waves of the sea. Thank you, everyone on Blue Tide, for becoming so close. Thank you for your unexpected hugs and hours of laughter. Thank you for your growth and self-discovery. Thank you for being open and kind and ready to smile. Your smiles will be remembered here, at ActionQuest, long after you’ve returned to life on land.
You’re a part of a grand tradition of sailors and pirates, seamen and woman, and travelers of the world’s oceans, who feel, deep in our hearts, the call of the waters and the wild. Thank you, dear friends, for a beautiful, exciting, and exorbitantly fun Blue Tide Session 3.