Happy New Year everyone!!!
Out with 2020 and bring on 2021.
I think it is safe to say that we are all ready for this as what a year it has been. A year like no other that is for sure. Less busy with guests but that didn’t mean we didn’t find other projects to get our hands on and we sure managed to keep occupied. So what have we been up to over the past year then? Let’s have a look at 2020 in review.
One of our favorite parts of 2020 was having more time on our hands to expand our summer dive program for local youngsters!
With the incredible support of Unite BVI and Bitter End Yacht Club we were able to take 56 local children/teenagers diving. 24 of these participants completed the PADI Open Water course and the remainder participated in the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience.
Of course we had challenges such as mandatory rescheduling and delays but we made it happen and they all did fantastic. It is such a great opportunity to be able to teach anyone to dive, but even more so when it is giving youngsters who would otherwise very likely not have the chance, this incredible experience. Each and every participant did fantastic. They overcame fears and challenges, learned about our ocean, the value of the underwater world and new job opportunities in their future.
Teaching first aid courses is something we always offer. However this was the year where local companies sought us out to come and train their staff. Often companies in the BVI will bring in specialized medical training teams that will offer additional training such as wilderness survival on top of basic first aid. Being so remote makes it valuable to have your staff trained above and beyond, just in case. With our borders closed this was unfortunately not an option, so we came to the rescue, or should I say to the first response.
2020 was the year of Sea Sweeps in the North Sound. A Bitter End Yacht Club initiative that enabled us to do 12 beach clean ups at 12 different locations in the North Sound over a total of 12 months. Each month we picked a different location and with the help of many amazing volunteers we cleaned up the shorelines in the North Sound. There was a lot of trash to be found and we are proud that the North Sound is a cleaner place in 2021.
To continue with the unfortunate vibes of 2020, we discovered that the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease has spread it’s way to the British Virgin Islands. So with the help of the National Park Trust of the BVI, all dive shops are being deployed in our fight to save our reefs. Weekly we are going out to do surveys and treatments in the hope we can stop the spread of the disease and save our reefs.
All this extra time gave us the chance to explore the BVI ourselves. From camping trips on the beach and the boat, weekends in Anegada with friends or by ourselves to hiking, snorkelling and diving. Enjoying paradise like we should. We have to stay positive through these interesting times and make the most of an interesting situation. For us that meant actually being off for Thanksgiving and birthdays spending time on the beach with friends and having time for us to enjoy the place we call home.
We look forward seeing all of you in this new amazing year of 2021!