Location: West End, Tortola
What an adventure the past 20 days have been! With the way our boat has developed over these past three weeks, arrival day seems like it was months ago. Connor, Juan, and Zack just presented their research project on the growth of Algae, Sponge, and Hard/Soft coral at increasing depths. Our Dolphin instructor Mike was very impressed with their presentation and the overall knowledge they displayed during their marine science course.
As of this morning, we now also have eight newly certified Rescue divers onboard Mary Morgan. Ella and Kelly led the charge at seven are, after they discovered two unresponsive divers of our starboard beam in one of the infamous rescue scenarios. Both hopped in the water and did an excellent job giving rescue breaths and towing the divers back to the boat. In our 8 am scenario, JJ and Ethan were first on the scene, while Tucker, Gaby, Laurel, and Chloe hopped in shortly after to provide support while also getting oxygen first aid prepared and helping egress the divers. Watching our team of 8 rescue divers develop over the past 20 days has been such a pleasure. The improvement in their diving skills, communication, and teamwork have grown leaps and bounds, and it’s so impressive to see how quickly they learn and develop.
Beyond the marine science and rescue skills, getting to spend this time with such a special group of people has been such a privilege. Each of them brings such a unique dynamic to the group, and I both learn from and am inspired by them every day. Connor always has an interesting story to share with the group, whether it’s his countless fishing tales or some embarrassing stories from childhood (poo trauma anyone?) Gaby is so introspective and always has something interesting to share. Tucker has incredible comedic timing and often leaves all of us in stitches. Kelly and Ella always seem to be singing and dancing and generally making our world a happier place. Chloe leads the charge on intellectual conversation and is full of interesting information. Juan is our ball of energy and always picks us up when we need a boost. Laurel always gets things going in the morning, up at 6 am and starting us on the right track. Ethan is always on top of our boat operations, leading our sail and anchor teams. Zack is our underwater comedian and makes everyone’s dives more entertaining, and JJ always takes the lead on the rescue scenarios, managing all the chaos with his leadership skills. Overall, these students have created such an incredible experience for everyone on board, our staff included. While it has been such a joy seeing them develop over the past three weeks, its sad to realize that our time has come to an end, and our family will all be heading in different directions tomorrow morning. On the way home I know all of our heads will be full of incredible memories, all accompanied to the sound of the trumpets they go