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Ocean 14-Day

Overview

  • Live-aboard marine science voyage
  • Conduct research in a living lab teeming with aquatic creatures while aboard your 44’ catamaran
  • Learn to sail as you explore the islands and ecosystem of the BVI
  • Try scuba, get scuba certified, earn dive specialties and do recreational dives; or enjoy seeing marine life while snorkeling
  • 2 weeks – $4395

Adventure Focus

Marine Biology

Sailing

Scuba

Ages

College

Days

14

Boat

Catamaran

Ocean 14-Day Description

The clear blue waters, coral reef and rock formations of the British Virgin Islands make for an extraordinary habitat of sea creatures and plant life. This is our research laboratory! Our Ocean program offers learning in an interactive format and addresses critical issues facing the ocean today. With guidance from our marine science staff, the coursework is designed as a hands-on study of Caribbean aquatic ecology that will challenge our scientific research techniques and analysis. Observe how sponges filter feeding, measure and compare percent coral cover between multiple locations, and look at the relationship between land use and water quality around the islands. Scientific papers about Elkhorn coral research in the BVI are experienced first hand with a visit to the sites to observe the current state of the coral heads. For the final project, Ocean participants will complete a comprehensive coral survey at The Dogs.

You’ll learn to sail the 44’ catamaran on which you and your crewmates live, learn and conduct research. By the end of the course all of the responsibilities of running and sailing the vessel will be in your hands. Our staff will instruct and support you every step of the way! Get out of the classroom and into the ecosystem. Try scuba diving, get certified or do recreational diving and specialties if you’re already certified.

Ocean 14-Day Activities

Kayaking

Ready for a little exploring with a friend? With all the beautiful anchorages and coves we visit there’s much to explore by paddle power.

Snorkeling

Meet the creatures below the waves. Swim alongside a friendly sea turtle, join a school of Blue Tang fish, and explore the reefs!

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Get your footing and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to maneuver with perfect balance. You’ll have terrific views above, as well as below the waves.

Tubing

Our Number 1 watersports toy is nicknamed “Papa”. You’ll be hanging on so tight you won't even be able to give a thumbs-up.

Wakeboarding

Once you’re up it’s a thrill every single second, especially if you get airborne. No wonder this is a Sail Caribbean one-handed favorite!

Waterskiing

Get up, get steady! Then you’ll be zipping back and forth across the wake for a ride you’ll remember.

Windsurfing

After you’ve learned to read the wind, you’re sure to take full advantage of it on your rig. Time to hook in and hold on!

Small Boat Sailing

You’ll learn so much on your big yacht. Try applying your seamanship skills to smaller boats and feel how swiftly they respond.

Social Events

Dance with Moko-Jumbie stilt walkers at our Fireball Party, win the famous Chili Cookoff, and compete for glory at the SC Olympics.

Beach Sports

Team up for a spirited game of volleyball or a fast-paced soccer tournament, then cool off rehearsing a synchronized swim.

Hiking

The islands we visit are mountainous. Reaching the best vantage points provides challenges, but the pay offs are breathtaking vistas!

Community Service

Whether your interest is in cultural heritage, marine biology, or environmental conservation, you’ll have opportunities to roll up your sleeves and pitch in!

Marine Science Projects

Topics include: behaviors and ecological functions of reef fish, coral reef conservation, coastal restorations, turtle tagging, species diversity, and diurnal and nocturnal marine ecosystems.

Island Exploration

Hike through a rainforest, travel mountainous hillside roads, learn about the art of glassblowing, visit an organic farm, and discover different cultures.

Sailing

If you've never set foot aboard a 50' sloop, it's OK with us – No Experience Necessary! You’ll learn by doing and we’ll be by your side all the way. If you’re already a sailor, build on your knowledge!

Scuba

If you choose scuba, it doesn't matter if you're a seasoned diver or if you're taking your very first scuba lesson. You're in for the ultimate dive experience.

Kayaking

Ready for a little exploring with a friend? With all the beautiful anchorages and coves we visit there’s much to explore by paddle power.

Snorkeling

Meet the creatures below the waves. Swim alongside a friendly sea turtle, join a school of Blue Tang fish, and explore the reefs!

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Get your footing and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to maneuver with perfect balance. You’ll have terrific views above, as well as below the waves.

Tubing

Our Number 1 watersports toy is nicknamed “Papa”. You’ll be hanging on so tight you won't even be able to give a thumbs-up.

Wakeboarding

Once you’re up it’s a thrill every single second, especially if you get airborne. No wonder this is a Sail Caribbean one-handed favorite!

Waterskiing

Get up, get steady! Then you’ll be zipping back and forth across the wake for a ride you’ll remember.

Windsurfing

After you’ve learned to read the wind, you’re sure to take full advantage of it on your rig. Time to hook in and hold on!

Small Boat Sailing

You’ll learn so much on your big yacht. Try applying your seamanship skills to smaller boats and feel how swiftly they respond.

Social Events

Dance with Moko-Jumbie stilt walkers at our Fireball Party, win the famous Chili Cookoff, and compete for glory at the SC Olympics.

Beach Sports

Team up for a spirited game of volleyball or a fast-paced soccer tournament, then cool off rehearsing a synchronized swim.

Hiking

The islands we visit are mountainous. Reaching the best vantage points provides challenges, but the pay offs are breathtaking vistas!

Community Service

Whether your interest is in cultural heritage, marine biology, or environmental conservation, you’ll have opportunities to roll up your sleeves and pitch in!

Marine Science Projects

Topics include: behaviors and ecological functions of reef fish, coral reef conservation, coastal restorations, turtle tagging, species diversity, and diurnal and nocturnal marine ecosystems.

Island Exploration

Hike through a rainforest, travel mountainous hillside roads, learn about the art of glassblowing, visit an organic farm, and discover different cultures.

Sailing

If you've never set foot aboard a 50' sloop, it's OK with us – No Experience Necessary! You’ll learn by doing and we’ll be by your side all the way. If you’re already a sailor, build on your knowledge!

Scuba

If you choose scuba, it doesn't matter if you're a seasoned diver or if you're taking your very first scuba lesson. You're in for the ultimate dive experience.

ON EVERY SAIL CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE

Sail Caribbean offers ten different adventure groups with 30 different sessions in the British Virgin and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. You live aboard a modern 50′ monohull yacht or 45′ catamaran with other teens in your age group and learn to sail. No experience is necessary. Every adventure focuses on an activity, but each offers scuba, marine biology, community service, cultural exchange, watersports, friendships, personal growth and lifelong memories.

Want to compare adventures?  Download our 2018 Schedule (PDF)!

Ocean 14-Day

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive on beautiful Tortola and get ready for the adventures to begin! Day one is about learning your way around your new home and meeting your crewmates, Captain, and Mate.

Days 2-4

After completing your first sail, you will pick up a mooring ball at Cooper Island Beach Club. If you are signed up for the PADI Open Water course, you will begin your course in the calm shallows at Cooper. Collect temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen measurements as you get better acquainted with ocean chemistry and the physical components of the ocean.

Days 5-7

As your first week comes to an end, you will finish your Open Water course and successfully set your first anchor at Dead Man’s Bay on Peter Island. You will begin to identify fish, like Queen Angelfish and Foureye Butterflyfish, by name. Observe cephalopods in the ocean and then learn about their anatomy by dissecting a squid. Your lesson on bioluminescence comes to light when you jump in for a splash with the dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans at Long Bay.

Days 8-10

Submit the data you collect to Coral Watch after laying transects and collecting data on the extent of coral bleaching on The Dogs. After a sail to The Bight at Norman Island, you will snorkel the patch reefs at The Caves. You and your crewmates will randomize, extrapolate, and estimate the population of Stoplight Parrotfish at The Caves, and discuss the effect of population changes of these herbivores to the health of the reef ecosystem.

Days 11-14

Comparing the water samples, estimated populations, and coral bleaching data that you collected over the program will help you and your crewmates address critical issues when you discuss human impacts on the Caribbean and climate change. The final sail to The Baths will culminate in a final day of relaxation and adventure with hikes, snorkels, and Jump Rock! Reflect and share your two-week adventure with the Echo program students on your final evening at the Awards Ceremony back at Hodges Creek Marina. After a successful program, you will return home with a greater understanding and appreciation of marine science and the ocean, as well as a whole crew of new friends with whom you have shared some unforgettable experiences!

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Ocean 14-Day

Sessions

1

Ocean

Begin Date

05/29/2018

End Date

06/11/2018

Tuition

$4395

Service Hours

3-5

# of Dives

8-12

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Optional

Courses

Sailing

Sail Caribbean Crew Certification

Prerequisites: None

This certification is bestowed on any crew member who demonstrates the ability to fully participate in the daily sailing tasks on board and passes a written test proving that they’ve mastered fundamental information on safety, seamanship, navigation and boat handling skills.

Sail Caribbean Bosun Certification

Prerequisites: SC Crew

Proving you have an understanding of some of the more advanced sailing theories and demonstrating the ability to participate in sail reefing, timed tacking and jibing, island crossing, advanced navigation, anchoring, docking and de-docking skills along with racing tactics and proper safety techniques will earn you our Bosun certification.

Sail Caribbean Mate Certification

Prerequisites: SC Crew & Bosun

A focus on leadership while underway is the core of this certification. You’ll earn Mate certification if you succeed at assigning crew positions, directing most phases of seamanship and safety drills, demonstrate proper engine, dinghy and equipment use and maintenance, keep an accurate ship’s log and monitor the weather all skills that make you a capable second in command.

Scuba

PADI Discover SCUBA Diving

Discover a whole new world beneath the waves!

You will experience the thrill of scuba diving under the close supervision of a qualified PADI Instructor in ideal conditions. Under the palm trees on the beach, we’ll begin with an orientation and skills session – you’ll be introduced to the basic concepts of scuba diving. Next you’ll learn about equipment, basic skills and safety procedures. Afterwards, you’ll practice those important scuba skills in three to five feet of calm, clear water right off the beach. You’ll continue with your first dive experience off that same beach in 20-30 feet of calm water. Once you’re comfortable with the basic skills, one of our custom dive boats will take you to enjoy your first open water dive. It will be no deeper than 30ft, and you’ll be able to explore one of our amazing reefs with your instructor.

The DSD course is available on all of our programs except Charlie. Students will spend 2-3 sessions with our PADI instructors. In the future, if you decide to become certified, these skills and the open water dives may be credited towards your PADI Open Water Diver course.

PADI Recreational Diving

Prerequisite: Must be Open Water certified or equivalent

Non-certification recreational diving is available as an option on all of our adventures. Ever imagine diving on a coral garden, drifting through a rainbow canyon, or exploring a sunken wreck? You will enjoy recreational diving in the BVI with our own Sail Caribbean Divers Instructors and Divemasters. On Delta in the Leeward Islands, professional dive instructors from each island along with our dive staff take you to gorgeous dive sites. You’ll gain expert knowledge from each local instructor and get the most out of every dive site you visit. You must provide proof of certification from a recognized agency like PADI, NAUI, YMCA, or NASDS.

PADI Dive Specialties

You may be able to earn multiple dive specialty certifications. The particular specialties offered will depend on the adventure chosen and our diving schedule. You will decide which specialties you’d like to do when you are in the Caribbean.

All below are available on Charlie Advanced Scuba adventures. Availability on other adventures is shown.

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Also available on Sierra

Practice techniques for improving buoyancy and decreasing air consumption resulting in better under water control and more enjoyment/preservation of the diving environment. (2 dives)

Project AWARE Dive Against Debris

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Also available on Foxtrot and Sierra

The impact on marine life of garbage dumped in our oceans is one of the biggest issues of our time. You can help by going on a dive with mash bags to collect the debris that

Project AWARE Reef Fish Identification

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Also available on Sierra

Study a variety of fish while observing and identifying markings, shapes, and behavior. (2 dives)

Underwater Naturalist

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Also available on Sierra and Ocean

Explore and identify marine life including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plant life. (2 dives)

Project AWARE Specialist

Prerequisite: None

Familiarize yourself with the plight of worldwide aquatic ecosystems and learn how to protect aquatic resources. (Non-diving specialty)

Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation

Prerequisite: None

Also available on Foxtrot

Study the fragile Coral Reef system, and how to preserve it, while observing and identifying markings, shapes, and growth. (Non-diving specialty)

Digital Underwater Photographer

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Learn the PADI SEA (shoot, examine, adjust) method, principals for getting good photos underwater, plus how to edit and share your shots. (2 dives)

Boat Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Develop skills needed to dive safely from a power or sailboat as well as special procedures for diving in areas with boat traffic. (2 dives)

Underwater Navigator

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Hone your underwater navigation skills using a compass, natural navigation techniques, and other navigational tools. (3 dives)

Night Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Explore the intrigue of diving at night while focusing on equipment handling, navigation, nocturnal marine creatures, and day to night contrast. (3 dives)

Search and Recovery Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent

Practice search patterns, effective search techniques in various conditions, and raising heavy objects using lifting devices. (4 dives)

Multi-level Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent

Apply valuable techniques for extending bottom times using the recreational dive planner (wheel format) and diving computers. (2 dives)

Drift Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Learn pertinent safety techniques, how to fine tune your buoyancy and use specialized equipment, as you use the ocean currents and tides as your propulsion. (2 dives)

RMS Rhone Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

The RMS Rhone Diver Specialty, a PADI Distinctive Specialty, is exclusively available at Sail Caribbean. Made famous in the movie, The Deep, this 310-ft cargo ship sank in 1867. She is our most requested dive site and is regularly voted the top wreck dive in the Caribbean.

Enriched Air Diver- Nitrox

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

Learn recreational skills and techniques for diving with different mixes of Oxygen and Nitrogen, for increased bottom time. (2 dives)

Wreck Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Adventure or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

Learn recreational skills and techniques for diving in man-made environments and practice using specialized wreck equipment. (4 dives)

Deep Diver

Prerequisite: PADI Adventure or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

Discover deep dive planning, hazards, special equipment, and extra safety precautions. (4 dives)

PADI Open Water Diver

Prerequisite: 12+ years of age.

This PADI course is the most popular entry-level dive program in the whole world! Throughout our PADI Open Water Diver course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of safe scuba diving, including dive equipment, techniques, and planning. This certification allows you to rent scuba equipment, obtain tank air fills and also enroll in PADI Continuing Education courses (PADI Adventure Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, or even PADI Specialties).

The PADI Open Water Diver certification is recognized worldwide. To earn this rating, we’ll introduce you to eLearning:

  • eLearning is an online Open Water course developed by PADI.
  • Non-diving “classroom” lessons are completed at home before your summer program starts.
  • The online course, averaging 6-8 hours to complete, presents the material in an “easy to use” manner and assures that you thoroughly understand the information. You can divide the course into several separate learning sessions to fit your schedule. No pressure — you set your own pace.
  • You can get one-on-one assistance from our professional scuba instructors in the Caribbean — the same instructors that you’ll have during the summer! They are on call by email to answer questions you may have along the way. This is personal attention that might not be available in a larger classroom setting.
  • Parents can oversee the sessions and possibly offer assistance.
  • The greatest advantage is that when you arrive in the Caribbean your time is spent underwater developing the skills required to become a qualified, capable, and safe diver. You’re not in the classroom! The first thing that you do is take a review test to prove that you’re ready to go diving!

During five confined water training dives, your instructor will demonstrate, and then you’ll practice and master, important diving skills. Finally, applying everything you have learned, you will make four open water dives at favorite dive sites around the British Virgin Islands.

Ocean 14-Day

FAQs

How much sailing experience is needed?

No experience is necessary, but you should be comfortable in and on the water, have a spirit of adventure, the ability to take on responsibility, and a desire to be challenged. Everyone is involved with sailing instruction.

What sailing certifications can I earn?

During the Ocean adventure, you have the option to earn both sailing and scuba certifications. In sailing, as part of our core curriculum, you can earn the SC Crew, Bosun & Mate certifications based on your level of experience and achievement.

What scuba certifications can I earn?

For non-certified scuba divers you’ll have the option to try scuba diving through PADI’s DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) course and experience the beautiful life in the underwater world, or earn PADI’s first certification called Open Water (OW). If you are already a certified diver, you’ll have the option of diving for fun by signing up for Recreational Diving. Dive Specialties are also offered.

Who will my crewmates be?

On Ocean, most students come from all parts of the US and are first or second year college students.The boats have 8-10 students and are co-ed. Each day offers sailing, marine science, responsibilities aboard, and meals with your crew plus activities, electives, and socializing with the entire group.

What kind of boat will I be living on & where do I sleep?

You’ll live and sleep on a modern 43’-46’ catamaran which is the ideal platform to accommodate our community and environmental service activities. Each boat has five cabins plus a main salon that can convert to a 6th cabin, four heads (bathrooms), and a fully equipped galley. Cabins are mainly used to store your belongings and to change clothes. Most nights the stars are so beautiful and the breeze so refreshing that you’ll set up your hammock or sleeping bag and decide to sleep on deck with the rest of the crew.

More Faqs

Ocean 14-Day

Reviews

“Ocean allowed me to be fully immersed in marine science with fellow students who shared my passion for the ocean. Every single day brought about new lessons about various parts of the ocean ranging from properties of water to fish physiology. Our learning was supplemented with hands on labs, activities, and dissections that brought even more excitement to the boat. We went on an unbelievable number of dives where we were able to be one with the world we were studying. In addition to the marine science, every day brought lessons on sailing and leadership, beautiful moorings and anchorages, and a great group of students and staff. It was great to really be able to take control of the boat completely very quickly which helped our boat build trust within a week of knowing one another. One of my favorite things that we did was a lab where we dove a site and collected data on the abundance of coral, fish, and invertebrate species. Looking back on the program, I can’t believe the amount of marine science that we squeezed into two weeks. One of the greatest things about Ocean was the small size of the program. It allowed me to really get to know everyone on the program. Every single day included great dinner conversation and so much fun on new adventures with new friends.”

Meredith D., age 19, Plainsboro, NJ

“Each day was full of different activities that kept us learning and on our toes, including lectures on fish identification and coral ecology. We got the opportunity to meet two different marine scientists who lead research projects and outreach in the BVI”….Read the full Blog post

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