Location: West End, Tortola

This session may have been a session to top all others. Every single person on Tanis Marie has learned so much about each other, themselves, diving, sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, wakeboarding, skiing, kneeboarding, cooking, cleaning, applying sunscreen, and taking ocean showers. Vocabularies have expanded to include terms like starboard, deckies, stanchion, dust cap, SPG, Hibiclens, and head. Perhaps most importantly though, all of us have gained new friends- some would even go as far as to say, new family members. We’ve helped each other through dive lessons, jellyfish stings, stubbed toes, sail study groups, stubborn dirty dishes, and general mood swings that come with close quarters living. The session is coming to a quick end, and I can sincerely say that I will be genuinely sad to say goodbye to every Tanis Mariesian. Matt was an eater and ever helpful part of this boat. He’s an anchor master now! Hannah and Frannie are our resident “nurses” now that they’re Emergency First Responders, having made impressively high marks on their exams the other night. Hannah has also perfected the midship backflip! Jacques, our reigning Teradactyl champion, ended up being our boat mood lifter with his light-hearted humor and stellar dance moves. Francisco, who is so considerate of others and ready to help with things like untangling our anchors or putting dive gear away, is now a professional winch cranker, and we’ll be depending on his skill to help us win the big race. Julia, baking and sailing maestra, led mini boat workouts on the bow this session in between conquering her mask removal skills and developing a passage plan for the advanced sailing course. Cole, twin to a Tanis Marie shipmate from the last session, became more and more independent as the trip progressed with his chef and salt water washing duties. Nicole has been such an asset to this vessel with her perennial optimism and ability to bring everyone together- she can make me laugh about anything and everything. Ben, the relaxed diver, is up for anything and makes it fun for everyone with his enthusiasm for things as seemingly trivial as regulator recovery and clearing skills. And then Bobby, the sailing and diving whiz, has been such a pleasure to have as a student, free diving buddy, and conversationalist with his interest and eagerness to learn. Everyone has played an integral part in making this a great session and a grand finale to my summer at ActionQuest. July 31 will be a sad day.