Aug 5-Aug 18
Summer Community Service Programs in the Caribbean
You take one big breath and free dive down 15 feet... you've been practicing for a few days. You spot a 20-pound Hawksbill turtle slowly cruising the sea grass bottom. He's only an arm's length away, well within your grasp. Using the approved techniques you learned yesterday, you carefully take hold of the shell with both hands and return to the surface with your new buddy. You both take a big breath. Your Captain does the tagging, you do the measuring, and it's over in a few moments. As you release your turtle, you and your crewmates realize that you've contributed to the health of future sea turtle populations.
After more than 30 years working in the BVI, we're proud of our strong links with the local community and of the summer community service programs we've developed. Through our Foxtrot Program, we're delighted to be giving something back. During your 14 or 21-day voyage you'll see just how stunning and varied the local marine environment is. By taking direct action to protect and preserve it, you'll be performing a service to the BVI community that will have a lasting impact. Your home and floating laboratory is a 42-47' catamaran, a style of boat that can get up close to the most spectacular sites in the BVI. You and your crew will sail from location to stunning location, leaving each site in better condition than when you arrived. You'll meet some remarkable new people and form lifelong bonds with your crew plus you'll leave the BVI knowing you've played a positive role in preserving this natural wonder.
Since we're focusing on marine-based community service, your destinations will have built-in opportunities to meet those goals. You'll sail to Great Harbor where you'll attempt to catch and tag sea turtles, as well as begin studies of seagrass beds in the BVI. You'll visit endangered reefs to do fish counts and perform "check-ups" on coral reef health. See a sample Itinerary
The Foxtrot Program is your opportunity to have hands-on interaction with the "rainforest of the sea" and make a difference by helping to preserve the life of the ocean. You will learn proper skin diving (snorkeling) techniques and use your new skills during community service projects. You'll learn to identify the amazing variety of fish, sea turtles, sponges and coral. You'll also make new friends and become a sailor too, sharing responsibilities aboard your boat and rotating positions to take charge as Skipper of the Day, Mate and Navigator. And no matter where you go, you're sure to do a clean sweep and Leave No Trace behind. More on Experiential Learning
All your hard work will see some balance when you take time to waterski, wakeboard, or sail small boats. However, you should know the pace of service projects on Foxtrot is very high, so you may choose to simply update your journal on the beach. Some nights will find you in a peaceful anchorage, sharing the day's discoveries with your crewmates, and some nights will find you dancing to the beats of DJ Heavy B. Learn more about Activities
Try scuba diving for the first time with the PADI Discober Scuba Diving Course (DSD) or get certified with the PADI Open Water Diver course. Students who get certified during Foxtrot or come to us already certified, will be using scuba diving skills as part of the Foxtrot community service projects, specifically in connection with Reef Check. All certified divers have the option to get their Advanced Open Water certification during the program. Everyone will participate in our series of Marine Biology seminars. Learn more about optional courses
(Note all turtle handling and tagging is done with permission and training from the BVI Department of Conservation & Fisheries.)