Location: West End

It’s coming to the end of session one, and I have to say it has been an amazing one. After hiking Spyglass for the second time this session, it is hard to believe three weeks have even gone by. The projects we have done and the times we have had together really brought the entire boat together. Helping out VISAR, visiting the schools, turtle tagging, and so many more projects not only affected the group but knowing we helped out locals and the environment in the BVIS is an unreal feeling, and I know it is going to be one that none of us will ever forget. Spending four hours painting a storage container in the sun, crawling through bushes to pick up that last plastic bottle or just chasing kids from Jost Van Dyke around the boat are the times that brought us all together and are going to be the memories we all take home with us. It’s hard to think of a time when someone wasn’t laughing or just having a blast talking to each other. We may have come to Grins as strangers, but we are leaving as one big family. Sam was there to offer up some incredible fun facts or talk in an impressive pirate voice. Elliot was always phenomenal with the kids at the schools we visited and was always making people laugh. Will was a natural born turtler and easily had the most inspiring speeches for an anchor captain. Maya was never afraid to volunteer for anything whether to carry the heavy tent or crawl into the woods to pick up trash.

Katherine woke up in a good mood every day and seemed to always lighten the mood with her singing and smiling. Mariela was constantly offering to help out others no matter how hard the task was and still was smiling and laughing the whole time. Her iPod was a clear favorite! Katie made a mean French toast even though she had no clue what it was. You could always find her in the galley helping out around meal times. I never heard Eliza say anything negative or complain about anything. She was up for anything we were doing. Gabbie made sure everyone else was having a good time and taken care of before she thought of herself. Courtney had excellent taste in music and was awesome at including everyone in activities and conversations. Ashley was determined to motivate everyone to help out by cleaning and participating in all of the projects. Colby was so enthusiastic about turtle tagging and loved playing with the local kids. I could not have asked for a better first session and I have to thank every one of the shipmates for that. They have taught me more than I could have imagined.