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As we start to wind down after what has been a fantastic first session, it feels amazing to think that it was just three weeks ago that we started this expedition. It has been a pleasure to get to know everyone on board and to see everyone learn and grow together as a group. Over the past three weeks, we have explored some incredible sites underwater together, enjoyed the teamwork involved in sailing, laughed a lot, and made memories that we will never forget. All in all, it has truly been a pleasure to witness and experience this amazing group of people come together. At the start of the program, three of the four Dolphin students successfully completed their open water course. After completing her certification, Adena expanded on her passion for photography by diving into the underwater photography specialty. Tristan used his newfound skills of fish identification to help lead the Dolphin group in designing their research project. Sophie found that she was naturally at home underwater and used her keen observation skills to help explained her understanding of the complexity of the marine ecosystem through the Underwater Naturalist Specialty. Sam came into the Dolphin program as an already certified advanced open water diver. She was patient with her peers and expanded on her skills as a diver by supporting them through their open water course.

Sam also used her underwater skills and passion for science to design and implement the methods for the Dolphins’ research project. Each of the Dolphin students brought their own unique personality to the course, which made learning about marine biology even more enjoyable. Over on the Neptune side of things, Bennett impressed everyone with his Rubiks cube skills and won the competition against a shipmate on another boat, becoming the ultimate cube master of dive side. Peter S. developed his alter-ego “MC Lil Duckie” after calling his staff “mumma duck” and performed raps and general laughs for us all. Spencer and Peter E. showed their passion for sailing and were in charge of helming for race day, trimming the sails to perfection. They also were the muscles of the group and led raising the anchor by hand many times. Abbey already had a love for diving and had the best diving experience of her life when three sharks visited her at the same time. She also discovered her love for sailing and all this sail related learning new knots and becoming our mooring leader. Devyn already had her advanced open water certification so developed her navigation skills, successfully leading and navigating on multiple dive sites. Betsy brought the sass to the boat, and everyone loved her for it. She already provided so much enjoyment from her sassy comments, which made everyone else up their ‘sass game.’ Dakota persevered after having some equalizing problems but aced her night diving in the end and managed to catch up and complete 2night dives in one day successfully! Eliza and Sydney took on the roles of bringing everyone together, always making sure everyone was included and creating a great environment for everyone with swim parties and music playing. All in all, it was a pleasure to have spent the last three weeks with such an amazing group. We hope to see you all again!