Location: Savanna Bay, Virgin Gorda

Today was exciting; it was the first time we got to launch off of our initial dock! After waking up at 6 am, much earlier than everyone wanted to, we finished doing our swim tests and began to get ready to take off. After a boat talk with Mike, the director of Action Quest/Lifeworks about the different rules and regulations of the program, we walked over to a nearby healthy mangrove forest. It was amazing to see a thriving community of trees. We learned that these trees are essential to the ecosystem due to the various roles it plays for local fish and habitats. Then, we finally took off from the dock; it was awesome motor-boating away! We rode the boat for a few hours until we finally got to a bay that held the mangrove restoration project, Brandywine Bay on Tortola. After a yummy lunch, we jumped into the water to check out the baby mangroves. To ensure a greater survival rate for these seedlings, past Lifeworks programs hammered cracked PCB pipes into the sand, and filled it with sand and water. Mangrove seedlings were then dropped inside, and our job today was to monitor the trees and make sure that none had died.

We spent a while in the cool water measuring the height of the trees as well as taking out dead ones and putting in fresh seedlings. It was tough to get onto the boat again since the water was so beautiful, but it was finally time to do some sailing! We all worked together to get the sails up. As the “skipper,” it was difficult to keep steering the boat towards the correct direction, but with the help of energetic students and the knowledgeable staff, we finally ended up at our destination. We anchored in Savanna Bay on Virgin Gorda and had our first shower. We had to jump into the ocean, climb out to wash our hair, jump back in, and then rinse off with fresh water. The ocean water was so warm, and it was actually really fun to just jump off the boat to shower. Today was an incredible first day on the water and I know that it’ll just get more and more fun. While we’re all very tired, I know we all can’t wait to learn what we’re doing tomorrow!