Location: West End

Our journey now is nearing its end; for the Peeps crew and myself, as this means returning home. This thought brings me sadness, but thinking back over the last three weeks together lifts me. Getting to know each member of our crew and watching them develop their skills and grow closer together is a special experience. This session brought me my first returning shipmate, Ivy. It was fantastic to reflect on our past year and see her grow as a leader, especially in regards to sailing. Our entire crew “killed it” sailing this year. Caisha sailed us onto a mooring on our first day sailing. She also loved to dive and is a fantastic wakeboarder. Luke, who earned the nickname Tex, piloted us to a close second in our final sailing race. Aside from sailing, living on a boat brings its unique benefits and challenges. Our whole crew did awesomely, and Alana enjoyed adapting to life on board and was a great leader and at the center of any fun.

Of course, diving was a huge part of our trip and Sarah, Kayla, Redmond, Max, Conchi, Amber, Adam, and Isaac all cited being in the water as the best part of their trip. I enjoyed working with Dolphins Sara and Conchi on their sea fan project and watching Conchi, who hails from Spain, integrate into our group. Outside of diving, Kayla and Max brightened everyone’s day with their positive nature, enthusiasm, and kindness. Amber loved the academic portions of the courses and working with Cayley and Kelli on her Advanced and Wreck Diving certifications. I know she will miss the warm, BVI water when she returns to Canada. While we all love being in the water, Redmond and Isaac’s enthusiasm eclipsed others’. Redmond cited diving as his favorite activity every day, save maybe one, which elicited a gasp from the entire group. Isaac was difficult to keep out of the water, even during activities, and at night in his quest to swim with tarpon. Adam, too, showed an awesome passion for diving. He was a terrific leader to everyone underwater, and a great example of dive skills to our crew, including its instructors. Another of my favorite challenges was the hike on Day 15. I was glad to see Steele at the top and happy that he cited conquering Mt. Sage as his favorite accomplishment this year. Now we’re home in West End, Tortola. I hope that everyone has a fantastic year, and I hope to see everyone next year – I hope we are all back.