Location: West End, Tortola

What a session it has been, the shipmates from B&G have completed some incredible projects on the islands and under the water.

The shipmates from Rebuilding Island Life on our vessel (Ned, Matt, Katie, Selma, and Yousef) worked at projects on Virgin Gorda that involved many schools like Ciboney School that involved building swing sets and painting picnic tables. On Jost Van Dyke the RIL students painted the outside of four different temporary houses that were built for the people of JVD after the storm that lost their homes. The homes were just plywood when we stared, and now the houses are many different colors like pink, green, yellow, and blue.

The shipmates from Preserving Paradise (Koko, Angela, Kendall, Sophie, Nell, Myles, Joey, Jackson, and Maren) started off the trip in Virgin Gorda helping with projects at Valley Day school, visited a National Park while doing a beach cleanup and a beach next to the Park. As we spent the clean up learning about the types of plastic, the next morning we watched many informational videos on plastic and trash. We also spent time with children at Jost Van Dyke, teaching them about mangroves and doing a beach cleanup near the site of Foxy’s Taboo restaurant. We also were able to have some beach time on Sandy Spit with the kids!

Some projects that Rebuilding Island Life and Preserving Paradise were able to work together were painting and maintaining the outside of Valley Day school, turtle tagging in Savannah Bay and Anegada, snorkeling for Lionfish at Mountain Point and Sandy Spit, cleaning up the abandoned building at Cane Garden Bay and maintaining a mangrove site in Tortola.

We have had such a fun and productive session! We’ve been able to complete all of the projects that Rebuilding Island Life has started from the beginning of the summer, and collect much needed, post-hurricane data on Preserving Paradise for our mangrove and seagrass sites, as well as the turtle tagging.

We also had some great times aboard. Myles cracked everyone up with his eating habits of bread sandwiches and his excellent salads made of salad leaves. Matt and Ned came together as best friends and will certainly be leaving that well as well. They contributed many inside jokes and quotes that will be said long after everyone leaves. Joey cracked everyone up with his very loud questions and comment bursts. Jackson was always telling funny stories and quoting movies that always had people laughing at meals. Still, no one can name five things that aren’t Jackie Chan. Because of Yousef, we all want to visit New Jersey since he always talks about how great it is! Katie always came back with some good stories and positive attitude after she came back from her projects. Nell was always so sweet and kind to everyone on board and made some strong friendships throughout the session. Koko rocked her responsibility of being a scribe during our seagrass monitoring. Angela was always recording content with her cool GoPro that you can talk to. Kendall was always a hard worker on the boat as well as projects and always had a smile on her face no matter what she was doing. Sophie was so great at interacting with the children we worked with this summer on Virgin Gorda for swim lessons and JVD with the children there. Selma did such a great job at project days as well as sailing the boat back from Anegada. Maren was cracking us up during seagrass surveys and any time on the boat, especially when she thought there were jellies in the water. We had such an amazing time getting to know everyone, thanks for a great summer everyone!