Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island

It’s hard to believe that ten days have already gone by – time has been flying thanks to fun-filled, activity-packed days. Ben, Marina, and I all count ourselves lucky to have such a fantastic group of shipmates sharing our home, Distant Drums, with us this session. Neptunes and Dolphins alike have been working and playing hard, building both hard skills and friendships while enjoying the idyllic backdrop provided by the sunny British Virgin Islands. We’re extremely proud of our Neptunes, who are now all Advanced Open Water certified, as well as our Dolphins, who have begun work on their science research projects. We’re excited to see how their fascinating project proposals pan out. When not underwater, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of the awesome crew we have aboard. Reef’s stories – about home, AQ, and his travels – have kept us constantly entertained, and have dovetailed nicely with Jon’s punch lines and clever puns. Tiago has treated us to several recitations of poetry, for which he has an incredible talent. On the bow, JP and JB (nicknamed Peanut and Butter, respectively) have challenged themselves and each other climbing our furled jib. Margaret, on the other hand, has discovered a new love (and talent for) sailing, keeping a steady hand at the helm with both sails raised. Vasia has had a hand in almost everything going on shipboard, and always seems to be there whenever anyone turns around looking for help, whether in the galley, short-lining the dinghy, or raising the main. Underwater, Ben has been impressing us with his diving, turning more into a skilled, aware, and self-reliant diver every time he splashes. Amanda, as well, has improved her buoyancy by leaps and bounds and remains always aware of essential safety concerns such as safety stop time and ascent rate. Jordan has hit an underwater milestone, having reached her twentieth dive and completed her advanced certification within days of one another. Sarah brings joy and smiles to every dive, on which she always manages to find and befriend a new cute fish friend. Gaby has spent time recording memories of her fish friends, creating beautiful drawings of her favorites on the covers of her dive log and those of her fellow shipmates. Maddy and Bella have also been recording memories of the journey. As our resident photographer, it’s rare to see Maddy without her DSLR or Polaroid camera. Bella, on the other hand, is a dedicated journal keeper, filling pages of her book with introspective thoughts and beautiful drawings. As a journal keeper myself, I can well understand the impulse to want to press the memory of this trip permanently into my thoughts; the fun, the adventure, and the companionship have made this session into the trip of a lifetime. We can’t wait to see what the next week and a half will bring!