I decided to move to St. John over the summer of 2014. I needed a break from school before pursuing my masters in marine biology. I thought, what better place to move to than the Virgin Islands? I chose St. John because my aunt has lived here for the past 20 years and since I was moving so far from my home in Maryland, I figured having family close by would help me adjust.
I moved to St. John at the beginning of October in 2014. I had waitressed at home and knew I could probably find a job waitressing on island, but I decided that since I could waitress at home I wanted to do something different. I decided that I wanted to work on a boat. I had heard about Cruz Bay Watersports since they are one of the largest boating companies in the Virgin Islands. I applied and got a job with the company, but I still needed to get my certifications to be able to be crew on the boats. In the meantime, I worked for Cruz Bay Watersports doing retail and selling trips. I met so many great friends within Cruz Bay Watersports and I even met my current roommate! We have a great group of people that work for the company. Although working in the store was not my passion, I stuck with it knowing that I would be able to work on the boats in the future.
In December, I went over to St. Thomas for three days to take a course for my crew certification, STCW basic safety training at the Captain’s School USVI. In those three days, we learned a lot. I learned basic first aid and CPR as well as oxygen administration. We also learned about firefighting and we even got to practice with real fire extinguishers. On our third class, we went out on a boat and we learned what to do in all of the emergency situations, such as man overboard and abandon ship. It was a fun class and I learned so much! In January, I went back to St. Thomas for another course called STCW Crowd Control. In this class, we learned all about how to control a large group of people in emergency situations as well as normal situations (when maybe everyone has had a few too many painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar over in Jost Van Dyke!) Taking these STCW courses was a great learning experience. After these courses, I was finally ready to work on the boats.
I started training on my days off as soon as I could to get some experience. I trained on Island Spirit, our company’s beautiful red catamaran. She is my favorite! When I was finally finished training, I was able to officially start working on the boat. Later on, I trained on our other boat, Island Time, and now I can work all of the trips that the company has to offer. It is truly an amazing experience and a dream job. Although our days on the boat are long, being on the water is a great way to spend the day. We meet so many wonderful people on all of our boat trips. And what’s not to love about visiting the gorgeous British Virgin Islands, snorkeling, sailing, and watching the sunset?!