Location: West End, Tortola
As our trip comes to a close, we are so sad to see all of our shipmates leave. It has been an action-packed three weeks, and we’ve loved watching them learn and excel in sailing and diving. After three weeks of dive chats, sail chats, and all kinds of experiences, our group has learned so much. We are excited to have four new open water divers, Luke, Chip, Elizabeth, and Amelie, with Luke proudly scoring the highest on his open water final exam. Eight of our students are now advanced open water divers, doing deep, boat, fish identification, peak performance buoyancy, and night dives. It was awesome to see Isaac and Abi come up from their deep dive ecstatic about having reached their deepest depth ever. Our advanced divers have also gained their Peak Performance Buoyancy and Fish Identification specialties. Our students got to celebrate their certifications with a fun dive on the Rhone, a sunken wreck with tons of marine life. All of our students also became coral reef conservationists, learning a ton about our local coral species and the state of coral reefs around the world. Congratulations to all of our shipmates who passed their IYT crew certifications, and VHF advanced students.
Seeing sailors like Zeke and Fitz take charge both on the helm and helping out wherever they could as we were underway was awesome, and helped our less experienced sailors by providing a great example. Trent and Chip kept the group smiling with their jokes throughout the sails. All of our sailors have become seasoned vets at practicing man over boards and sailing circles with our beloved fender who we named Susan. Kendall and Elizabeth came in with great small boat experience, and have done an amazing job expanding this to larger vessels; we hope that they continue to hone these skills. Our crew is now fantastic at readying Imane, and we have never seen anyone as excited as Brandon is when he gets to set up and longline the dinghies to prepare to sail. Caroline was a great group motivator, making sure that all of the tasks got done for each day, and keeping our crew in high spirits. It was great to see Elizabeth and Abi tear it up on the water ski boat and watch them get better at doing tricks. It was also fun to see Trent, Brandon, and Fitz zip around the anchorage on the Zests, working on their skills in sailing small boats. It will definitely be sad not to see their smiling faces each day. We will miss all our shipmates so much and hope for the best future for all them; it’s been a lovely session!