Location: West End, Tortola

Hi, and welcome to Portlandia!


Staff training is coming to a close after two weeks of many preparations! We are very excited to begin the program and meet the shipmates. Our boat, Portlandia, is a beautiful monohull, and we have spent all day stocking her with food, linens and cleaning in preparation for the adventures ahead. The next three weeks will be full of exciting community service projects, sailing through the beautiful British Virgin Islands and forming friendships aboard this vessel. This blog will be an exciting way to see what we are doing each day throughout the program, so stay tuned! 


Below is a brief introduction to Portlandia’s crew/staff!


Elliot Evins: Program Director/Skipper/Medic


Growing up in several contrasting parts of the United States, Elliot developed an appetite for travel and exploration at a young age. He fostered a passion for global service and socially responsible volunteering as a student with Global Expeditions Group during high school and university. This eventually brought him to a position leading programs in the same countries he originally experienced as a student. Elliot holds professional certifications in sailing, field research and wilderness medicine that allow him to provide his students with the same incredible experience and lessons our programs gave him. When not running summer programs in the BVI, China, Thailand, India, Costa Rica or Ecuador, Elliot works in the Sarasota, Florida GXG headquarters and spends his weekends sailing, producing music or bumbling his way through ambitious do-it-yourself projects.


Maya Raphael: Mate/All-Around Competent Individual


Maya is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and will be a senior at the University of Michigan next fall. She studies International Studies and Environmental Science because of her love for traveling and the planet. Maya has spent a semester studying immigration in London, UK, and another learning art history and politics in Florence, Italy, and she continues to seek more exciting opportunities abroad. In high school, she participated in GoBeyond in the BVI as a shipmate, and again the year after that in the Ecuador/Galapagos program. Last year Maya received her PADI open water diver certification in Cozumel, Mexico and continued diving and sailing on Global Expeditions€™ college program, Seamester. Last month she lived on a kibbutz in Israel and spent her day’s scuba diving near the Egyptian border. Maya loves to read, cook, and play Sudoku when she isn’t adventuring or studying.


Anna Oppermann: Mate/Medic


Anna has been an EMT for over three years in Boston, where she went to university to study neuroscience/run away from the Indiana cornfields. Anna travels everywhere with her stuffed Simba because planes make her nervous, and has accepted the consistent looks of shame from TSA. In a perfect world, she would be able to eat nothing but egg rolls for the rest of her life and be celebrated for her dedication to travel the world until she has no money left. She’s excited to explore the BVI with the shipmates, annoy them with her country music, and wrangle some turtles!