Location: Salt Island, BVI

Nothing better than starting off the day with a laundry sesh and happy dawn divers. A group of
tired Velans set off in the dark with their dive kits and torches. They entered the water in the
pitch black and exited in the blazing sun after watching all the squid and angelfish wake up
from their sleep. Feeling completely rejuvenated and energized upon returning home, all of the
dawn divers helped me wake up the rest of the crew before Ryans oatmeal bar
extravaganza. At breakfast, Dylan heard his first (of MANY) happy birthday songs. Then,
everyone gathered in the salon for Nav Master class!!! Charts were unrolled, parallel walking
rulers were snatched, divider compasses were set up, and of course, the bread-and-butters
(still dont know what the real name is). Were practicing charting on the Chesapeake Bay
home sweet home and learned all about dead reckoning and estimated position. Many
accomplished smiles and high-fives were passed around after everyone got the right
coordinates and SOGs on both questions! We then had a little free time: one group went hikingSalt Island, Issy and I went snorkeling on the beach, and the rest either napped or caught
up on some school work. We all reconvened for lunchtime, then split again into rescue divers,
deep divers + new divemaster Lizzy(!!), and Sick Squad. Sadly, Sick Squad (Me, Sharp, Cora,
and Allissa) couldnt dive today as were getting over the Vela cold, but everyone else had a
blast. Rescue divers practiced unresponsive diver recoveries; deep divers hit 90ft and saw
TWO reef sharks, Audz hit SEVENTEEN METERS free diving, and Sick Squad made some
popcorn, jammed out, and finished some fish IDs. Once everyone was ocean showered and
snuggled up in sweatshirts, we had fam dinner, and all said one thing we loved about Dylan for
squeeze – a Hasenberg family tradition. Anna, Sofia, Emma, and Annika brought freshly baked
birthday cake, and more happy birthdays in more languages were sung and danced to. Just like
every one of the past 63 days, I am so insanely grateful to be on this journey with my for-life
best friends, the superhero staff who I admire more than anyone, the ocean, and Vela Vela Vela.
DYLAN! Special note for you on your birthday: You have shown me the magic of marine bio, and because of you, I now know that I want marine biology to be a part of my life forever. Your
passion and excitement for the ocean are contagious, and you truly are one of the best teachers
Ive ever had.
Mom, Dad, Benny, Joey, and Katie: love and miss you guys so much – cannot thank you
enough for sending me here. Its truly life-changing. Cannot wait for you to meet everyone one
day – some of the best people Ive ever met.
Graham: buy some dirt for me b4 I come home:) Love you more, 26 <3
Pic1: Old Dylan and his bday cake
Pic 2: Sick Squad at their finest
Pic 3,4,5: cutest smiley divers
Pic 6: Ryan, Calum, and I being the chart masters, we are