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Location: West End, BVI

Today was the first day onboard Vela as we welcome our new crew and cross the Atlantic ocean. The last couple of weeks have been spent bringing Vela up to a state of shiny newness. With the cap rail and stainless steel gleaming, we waited at West End in Tortola for our new shipmates to arrive. On the dock next to us, the catamarans and monohulls of Action Quest, the BVI-based sailing and diving program that is the other arm of Global Expeditions Group, were swarming over the dock, making final preparations for students. Over 180 Action Quest and Seamester students were arriving in West End, and the dock was a hive of activity.

Courtney was the first student to arrive at 12 pm, but the other 23 students didn’t have as much luck as they arrived in groups right up until 11 pm. Once on board, they were welcomed with some dinner and a shower and shown where they would be bunking for the next 70 days. Trying to learn 29 new names and faces at 11 pm while jet-lagged is a daunting task, so we turned on the AC for the night and tried to get some rest for the epic voyage to come.

Photos:

1 – Vela waiting on the dock with the Action Quest boats behind her
2 – Staff photo, from left to right:
Freddie (Mate) – doesn’t understand vegans can’t eat chocolate
Dylan (Marine biologist) – first time being outside
Calum (Chief Mate) – lives in a flat filled with old newspapers and 20 cats
Brianne (Mate) – took a 99% pay cut for this job
Leoni (Marine Biologist) – Yachtie at heart
Tom (Captain) – likes to look directly at the sun