Location: West End, Tortola
It’s finally arrival day, and the crew of Dallas Blonde cannot wait to meet our students! We have spent weeks training and preparing our fleet, all culminating in this oh-so-exciting day. We have fresh food aplenty, clean, cozy bunks, full fuel and water tanks, and a beautiful boat! The staff aboard are Em (Skipper and Co-Leader), Dara (Mate and Co-Leader), and James (Medic and Mate). James and Dara have worked hard today as part of the arrival crew in St Thomas and are traveling back to our ‘boat home’ with our students. Em is onboard the boat putting the finishing touches on everything and preparing to welcome our students on board and check them in upon arrival. Soon, 13 smiling and slightly apprehensive faces will board Dallas Blonde and begin the adventure of a lifetime!
Meet Emmanuelle (Skipper and Co-Leader):
Em is happy to return to GXG for her fourth summer, having previously worked with the company in Ecuador and the BVI. She relishes exploration of the sea through oceanographic research and sailing and sharing that discovery with colleagues and students. When not at sea, Em pursues exciting satellite remote sensing work, revels in wide-open spaces, learns of aviation, and tinkers with old broken things. What keeps Em coming back to these programs are the students who tentatively step out of their comfort zone, only to find their stride and prove their “I can’ts” wrong again and again.
Meet Dara (Mate and Co-Leader):
Growing up along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Dara has been drawn to the sea from a young age – a love that was fostered through her 2012 BVI adventure with GoBeyond. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in ecology and anthropology, and she’s currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Studies, and Policy from the University of Oregon. The true highlights of her studies have been the opportunities to connect up-close-and-personal with the ocean world: restoring coral reefs in Indonesia, swimming with wild dusky dolphins in New Zealand, diving with sharks in Fiji, and gliding along with sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef – experiences which have only strengthened her resolve to contribute toward a healthy restoration of our blue planet. When not underwater, Dara enjoys hiking, concert-going, and enthusiastic conversations about environmental justice. She hopes to pursue a career in international ocean advocacy, and she can’t wait for this summer!
Meet James (Medic and Mate):
James was born and raised in northern California, never living very far from an ocean. Through his time in California, James developed a love for all water sports, including sailing, surfing, swimming, water polo, rafting, wakeboarding, and diving. He found his true passion for sailing after a voyage onboard S/Y Argo from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean as a student with Seamester in the fall of 2018. During the school year, James is a student at Baylor University working towards his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In addition, James is also an EMT with about a year of experience on ambulances. James is very excited to be reuniting with GXG in the British Virgin Islands for a summer full of sailing, diving, watersports, and overall fun!